One of the names that has been frequently linked to the Minnesota Vikings in the 2009 NFL Draft has been Percy Harvin, the running back/receiver/Swiss Army Knife from the national champion Florida Gators. Harvin, for portions of last year, what the best player on a team that had the defending Heisman Trophy winner in the backfield, and had an absolutely monster game at 75% health in the biggest game of his life, helping the Gators defeat the Oklahoma Sooners in the BCS Title Game in January.
Prior to the revelation that he had tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, Harvin was projected to be drafted anywhere from the middle of Round One to the top of Round Two. However, his stock seems to be sliding a little bit, and there's a slim chance that he might even be available when the Vikings get on the clock in Round Two (though I certainly wouldn't bet on that happening). There are many Viking fans out there who would love to see Harvin become a member of the Vikings on Saturday afternoon. Frankly, if the guy can prove he's clean, he could potentially be a very good pick for us.
And I use that word because there's a real possibility that Harvin and Minnesota would not be a good match. Now, how can an athlete of Harvin's caliber be a bad match for anybody, you might wonder? Read on.
For those of you that are familiar with college recruiting and/or the NCAA Football series of video games, you know that in recent years a new recruiting category has been added. . .the category of "athlete." This category covers guys that really don't have a set position on the football field, but have an insane amount of athletic ability and have a unique knack for making plays When this category was created, Percy Harvin was pretty much the player that they had in mind.
He's not a big guy, having been measured at 5'11" and 190 pounds. He's really not big enough to line up outside on a regular basis at the NFL level, but could potentially be an outstanding option out of the slot. However, at Florida, he mad a lot of big plays from the running back spot as well. And though he never returned a kick or a punt at the college level, his open field quickness and blistering straight-line speed give him the tools to be a potentially devestating return specialist. Return guys are nice, but the Vikings aren't about to spend the #22 pick in the draft on a return guy.
Harvin's effectiveness outside of his (potential) return abilities would depend on how adept his coaches are at getting him out in space, exploiting matchups, and getting him into position to do what he does best. He could potentially be a big play threat from any spot on the field, given the right situation. So why do I think that Harvin might not be a great fit for Minnesota?
Think about our offense. Think about our coaching staff. Then go back and re-read the previous paragraph. Go ahead. . .I'll wait.
See what I mean?
Some team is going to get themselves a heck of a football player in Percy Harvin, in my opinion. But that team probably won't be Minnesota. . .and, quite frankly, that might be for the best. Both for Percy Harvin and the Minnesota Vikings.