The Washington Football Team struck gold in 2020 when they drafted Antonio Gibson in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Gibson quickly proved himself and became a lethal RB1 for the WFT. This year, the team signed an undrafted free agent that could muddy the waters of the Washington backfield.
Jaret Patterson is a product of the University of Buffalo. In 2018, Patterson became the first freshman RB in program history to rush for over 1000 yards. According to ubbulls.com, Patterson “led the team in rushing with 1,013 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season – both school records for a freshman running back… averaged 5.5 yards per carry which was third in school history for a single season.” He broke all kinds of records during his career as a Buffalo Bull and looks to continue this trend in Washington.
During his Junior year, Patterson earned more accolades. The college star set both Buffalo and FBS records, in just six games played. He’s not only fast, but he breaks tackles with ease, as well as blocks pass rushers with correct form. He is a versatile running back that can do it all.
In only six games, rushed for 1,072 yards and 19 touchdowns… led the nation in rushing average (178.7 ypg)… eclipsed 1,000 yards in his fifth game, tying the FBS record for earliest game to reach 1,000 yards… winner of the Vern Smith Leadership Award, given to the top player in the Mid-American Conference… named the MAC Offensive Player of the Year… named All-MAC First Team… an All-America Second Team selection… tied an FBS record with eight rushing touchdowns against Kent State (11/28)… also rushed for a MAC-record 409 yards against the Golden Flashes – the second-highest single-game total in FBS historyubbulls.com – University of Buffalo Athletics
His stats as a Buffalo Bull speaks for themselves. Jaret Patterson acquired several accolades in a few short years. He’s a quick and elusive running back that can find and exploit holes in the defensive line well. He is known for running it up the gut and breaking away, outrunning a team’s entire defensive unit. Also a red zone threat, Patterson tallied 19 touchdowns in 2020 and 20 touchdowns the prior year.
This first year in Washington will be a great experience for Jaret Patterson. He will be learning under Antonio Gibson, a phenomenal young RB who has already made a name for himself in the league. Patterson joins the Washington club with something to prove.
He will be competing with JD McKissic and Payton Barber for snaps. He already has a chip on his shoulder from going undrafted in 2021, looking forward, Patterson will look to prove his skills can translate from college to the NFL.
Draft Kings believes that Patterson could replace JD McKissic as RB2 for the Washington Football Team. Since McKissic is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this upcoming season, Patterson would be the next best running back to take his job.
The strengths that NFL.com noted for Jaret Patterson had to do with his form, which is exceptional. Patterson “squares up with incoming rusher and blocks with proper technique.” Patterson also runs with squared pads and a wide base, which is considered proper form for a running back. He has all the fundamentals, now the WFT will hone his skills and transform him into an NFL-caliber back.
NFL.com also wrote that the UDFA has a “legendary work ethic and drive to prove himself to doubters.” This type of mentality is exactly what Coach Rivera is looking for in the new era of Washington football. Rivera has built a culture where players share the same hunger to win, and Jaret Patterson fits that mold.
Additionally, Patterson hides behind the line, finds the smallest gaps, and plows through. At 5’7″ tall, he hides behind the offensive line well, which helps him make big runs up the middle.
Lastly, Patterson can maintain balance after contact, and continue running. He makes forcing missed tackles look easy.
A big weakness for Jaret Patterson would be the quality of defenses he faced in college. Being in the Mid-America Conference (MAC) meant that the defenses he went up against were subpar. It was easy for Patterson to be a standout star when the defenses he played against were poor. There will be a learning curve for Patterson coming from the MAC to the NFL.
Another hindrance for the UDFA is his pass-catching experience. This was not something he did a lot in college and an area where JD McKissic excels. If Patterson plans to replace McKissic at the end of the season, this is an area the WFT will need to develop.
Jaret Patterson’s strengths far outweigh his weaknesses. He’s a strong, versatile back that will become a weapon for the Washington franchise in a year or so. There is only an upside for the undrafted free agent.