Dezmon Patmon spent his last two seasons at Washington State proving he was more than a big body and then padded that assertion by leading the Cougars in receiving yards as a junior and turning in more impressive stats as a senior.
Now, the towering WSU wideout will have a chance to do the same at the next level.
On the heels of three productive seasons at WSU’s “Z” wide receiver spot, Patmon was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round, and with the 212th overall pick, of the 2020 NFL draft Saturday.
He becomes the first WSU receiver to be drafted since 2015, when Vince Mayle went to the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round.
While Patmon wasn’t listed on most mock draft boards, and wasn’t considered to be one of the top-10 available wide receivers when he was picked, the imposing outside target was an enticing choice for teams looking to beef up their wide-receiver room.
“I thought this young man could really get after it on the outside the numbers routes downfield,” ESPN’s Louis Riddick said on the live NFL draft broadcast. “He’s a big target, has good high-point skills, has breakaway speed once he’s able to get behind the secondary.
“He’s a red-zone threat, well put together, great young individual, very humble hardworking guy.”
The Colts had three consecutive picks near the end of the sixth round, choosing Patmon after they selected UMass cornerback Isaiah Rodgers with the 211th pick and before grabbing Michigan linebacker Jordan Glasgow with the 213th pick.
In Indianapolis, Patmon will play with former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who the Colts signed to a one-year, $25 million deal last month during free agency. That presents a unique opportunity for the native San Diegan, who grew up within walking distance of Qualcomm Stadium, where Rivers spent the majority of his 15 seasons with the Chargers.
“It’s like maybe 5, 10 minutes from my house,” Patmon said earlier this week.
In three seasons at WSU — two of which were spent as a starter — Patmon hauled in 156 passes for 1,976 yards and 13 touchdowns. That included 61 catches for a team-high 816 yards during Patmon’s breakout junior season.
“As a little kid playing football, that’s everyone’s dream, that’s the most cliché thing, ‘I want to play in the NFL,’” Patmon said. “But for me, it was the same thing, growing up and playing football in Pop Warner, I just want to play in the NFL and grow up to be a professional athlete.”
He was named after former Michigan receiver Desmond Howard, in part because his uncle DeWayne Patmon played linebacker for Michigan before spending one season with the New York Giants in 2000-01.
- Another WSU receiver, Easop Winston Jr., has agreed to an undrafted free agent deal with the Los Angeles Rams.
- Fred Mauigoa, the center for Luke Falk, Gardner Minshew and Anthony Gordon, signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Carolina Panthers.