Is Jarius Wright the Next Percy Harvin?



Reports out of training camp are that Jarius Wright is doing very well, and he's grabbed the attention of the Associated Press as well. Here's a quick round-up of some of the positive media reports of Jarius Wright during Vikings Training Camp:

  • "Jarius Wright was the Vikings' most impressive receiver during the time I spent with them earlier in camp, and from most accounts, he has continued practicing at a high level."
  • "An early standout in camp. Looks comfortable in offense, will go across the middle and make catch in traffic."
  • "He's done a fantastic job outside the numbers as well as in the slot. He looks quick, his weight is exactly where it needs to be and the bottom line with Jarius is he knows what to do all of the time."
  • "His maturity for his age and also his experience in the NFL, and we saw this year ago, he's a very knowledgeable guy, very conscious guy. And for him to step in and play as well as he did in this first start action after being, not a guy who was even dressing, that tells you something about the pro that he is and even as a rookie. To see him now kind of take a leadership role that's pretty impressive."
  • "He isn't only getting open deep, but finding ways to create space on intermediate and short routes as well. Particularly impressive is his work in the red zone, where he can still create exclusive space for himself regardless of how cluttered the field is."

That is some pretty high praise from a variety of sources inside and outside the organization. As most fans know, Wright was inactive for the first 9 games of the 2012 season and wasn't called into action until Percy Harvin injured his ankle during a game against Seattle. Wright came in the following week and performed pretty well for the rest of the year as a rookie 4th round draft pick. I don't think anyone expects Jarius Wright to perform as well as Harvin, and in fact, he was asked directly about that comparison in this article. He said:

No one on the team expects me to be Percy Harvin. None of the coaches expect me to be Percy Harvin. All I can be is Jarius Wright.

That's a great attitude to have, but as a receiver Wright has a lot of similarities to Percy Harvin, even more than simply their height and weight. Check out this comparison of Wright and Harvin's rookie seasons as well as some of their college and combine stats:

Jarius Wright

Percy Harvin







Combine 40-Yard Dash



Combine Bench Reps



Career Receiving YPC (College)



Rookie Season YPC (NFL)



Rookie Season YAC (NFL)



Rushing Att (College + Rookie Year in NFL)



So, as the table illustrates their measurables are comparable, but Harvin was a bit stronger player with more bench reps and had much more significant experience as a running back in college (Wright only had 2 career rushing attempts in 4 years at Arkansas and only 2 attempts last year in the NFL). But from a pure receiving comparison, Wright looks like more of a down-field receiver than Harvin with higher yards per catch ratings both in college and during their rookie seasons, and in fact, Wright lined up outside the numbers much more frequently in college. Wright also doesn't have quite the ability to generate yards after the catch that Harvin had a knack for doing, but even their rookie seasons are comparable (Harvin improved that dramatically each year as he generated an insane 8.7 YAC last season).

So what can we expect from Jarius Wright in 2013? Well, I don't think he'll assume the exact same role that Harvin had in the offense, and I would be very surprised to see him get many rushing attempts in 2013 if any. But I do expect him to lineup in the slot as he is currently listed as the #3 WR on the depth chart, behind Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson. But his versatility to lineup outside the numbers (as he did in college) and in the slot gives Ponder and Musgrave a lot of options to swap around positions with the other receivers. And it remains to be seen if Jerome Simpson will retain a starting role with Cordarrelle Patterson nipping at his heals. Even as the #3 receiver in 2012 behind Michael Jenkins and Jerome Simpson, and with only 1 official start, he was the 2nd most targeted receiver after Kyle Rudolph during the last 7 games of the year. While Jennings represents a significant upgrade over Michael Jenkins and will surely be targeted heavily by Ponder in 2013, there should still be a few looks to keep Wright involved from week to week. And hopefully his versatility will keep defenses guessing on how the Vikings will use this 2nd year receiver.

My Prediction for Jarius Wright in 2013: At least 40 receptions, 500 yards and 3TDs

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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