Jaret Patterson's rise throughout the summer has been well documented, as the undrafted rookie running back parlayed a solid training camp with an excellent preseason into a spot on Washington's initial 53-man roster.
Patterson was the star of Washington's preseason, as his impressive play during the team's first two exhibition clashes caught the attention of new general manager Martin Mayhew.
"I think Jaret can be pretty special," Mayhew told reporters Tuesday. "He's got a ways to go, obviously, as a young player. Did not have a great game that third game, but we saw a lot in those first two games that was very promising from him."
Mayhew, who was a cornerback on Washington's Super Bowl-winning team in 1992, then went on to say that Patterson reminds him of two of his former teammates, Ricky Ervins and Jamie Morris
"[Patterson is] an explosive guy, he has really good vision. He brings a lot to the table," Mayhew said. "He reminds me a lot of some guys we've had here: Ricky Ervins, who I played with, a former teammate of mine, Jamie Morris, former teammate of mine."
All three players have similar body types: small yet powerful. Patterson, listed at 5-foot-8, 195 lbs., has one inch on the other two running backs. All three players were within eight pounds of one another.
"Both of those guys were built low to the ground, hard to tackle," Mayhew said. "Both of them had really good vision and acceleration. That's what Jaret has, too. Jaret can squirt through the whole and a lot of times, the linebackers can't find him behind the offensive line."
What Mayhew truly hopes, though, is that Patterson experiences similar success to what Ervins and Morris had in Washington, particularly the former.
Although he wasn't technically Washington's starter, Ervins played a pivotal role behind Earnest Byner as a rookie in 1991. Washington won the Super Bowl that season with Ervins as the leading rusher in the Burgundy and Gold's triumph over the Buffalo Bills.
During Morris' tenure with Washington, he never went to the playoffs. But the running back still found ways to contribute, including as a kick returner -- something head coach Ron Rivera says Patterson is "more than available" to do.
These aren't the first two positive comparisons Patterson has received since arriving in Washington, either. Head coach Ron Rivera and backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke have likened his game to former Pro Bowler Darren Sproles, while former Washington tight end Logan Paulsen said Patterson reminds him of ex-All-Pro Maurice Jones-Drew.
As an undrafted free agent, the odds were against Patterson to make the 53-man roster. Not only has the former Pallotti High standout defied those odds, but he's impressed his most important bosses as well.
"He brings a lot to the table," Mayhew said. "He's going to be fun to watch this year and hopefully he can continue to grow and develop as a player."