Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oh mercy, we got Percy

I had my heart set on an offensive lineman.

When Detroit passed on taking an offensive lineman with their #20 pick, I rejoiced. I didn't know exactly what Cleveland's needs were, but I was hopeful that they would pass on tackle Michael Oher. I was even hoping that, with their sudden receiver needs, that they'd take Percy Harvin, preventing the Vikings from doing so (which I knew they'd be tempted to do) and landing Oher, who was projected as going about 8-10 picks earlier.

Cleveland took Alex Mack, another potential target for the Vikings, but Oher was still on the board. ESPN highlighted Oher, who was in New York, waiting to be drafted. All the signs pointed to Oher. I thought positive...Oher, Oher, Oher...

"The Minnesota Vikings select Percy Harvin, wide receiver, Florida."

I nearly threw my phone into the TV.

I know what I said about not evaluating the draft too early and giving guys a chance to develop. But this is the worst possible situation for Harvin and the Vikings and has a strong possibility of developing into the biggest bust of the first round.

Harvin is like Reggie Bush, Jr. Meaning that he'll wow you here and there but won't be the kind of consistent performer you look for in a first-round pick. Bush is more flashy than he is great, averaging 3.7 yards per rush for his career and 7.5 per reception -- mediocre numbers for a running back, much less the #2 overall pick.

Harvin isn't Bush, per se, and though he's listed as a wide receiver, he actually had more rushes in college than receptions. That's probably due to his usage in Urban Meyer's spread offense, which has produced such NFL notables as Deshawn Wynn, Chad Jackson, Dallas Baker, Chris Leak, and Alex Smith. Yeah. Good luck to the team that drafts Tim Tebow next year -- you're going to need it.

Still, you look at the way Sean Payton utilizes Bush in New Orleans and figure that there might be a way for an inventive coach and innovative offensive coordinator to use Harvin in a way that would contribute to a high-powered, attack-oriented offense.

If only we had any of those.

Harvin's also got the fabled "character issues"; he failed a drug test at the combine, when you know you're going to be tested (ESPN said that he was either "stupid" or "had a real problem," neither of which are desirable). Brad Childress apparently sat down with him earlier this week and was convinced that's all behind him. And hey, we all trust Brad Childress's judgment, right?

The Vikings did address their offensive line issues in round two, taking mammoth (6'7 3/4". 332 lbs.) tackle Phil Loadholt out of Oklahoma, who looks to be an awesome road-grader as a run blocker but could have trouble dealing with speedy defensive ends while protecting the pass.

Still, the success of this draft for the Vikings will undoubtedly ride on the success of Harvin in a purple uniform. With Oher taken one pick later by the Ravens, a lot of people (including me) will be comparing the career paths of the two and grading them against each other. In the shorter term, if Harvin even smells like a bust in 2009...well, maybe our next head coach will know what to do with him.

1 comment:

Shane said...

I know what you're saying man, but take a look at how well our 1st picks have worked out since Childress took the reigns... I think he actually does have a good sense/judgement in this area.