7 Days of Draftsmas: Everybody Loves Harvin, All of a Sudden

It doesn’t take much to turn the prognosticatory tide nowadays.  When it comes to the Vikings‘ draft, all it required was one visit from Brad Childress down to Gainsville.  Now pretty much everyone is convinced that Winter Park has its eye on Percy Harvin, the Florida wide receiver whose talent is surpassed only by his love of toking up.  If the Vikings do take Harvin, they will undoubtedly be rolling the dice on a guy with questionable judgment.  Of course this would not be the first time they rolled these same dice.  They also took a huge chance on Jared Allen, who at the time of that trade, was one strike away from a one-year suspension under the substance abuse policy.  Allen, as things turned out, remained on the straight and narrow, and is now back to square-one in the policy.  Oh, and he wasn’t too bad on the field either.

Here’s the point:  considering the huge risk the Vikings took with the Allen trade, should any of us really be surprised that they would be interested in Harvin, a guy who has been summarily dismissed by so many people?  The Vikings put multiple draft picks and a huge pile of money on the line by trading for Allen; with Harvin, they’re risking only a single pick and a lesser amount of money.  Of course, the big difference is that, with Allen, you were acquiring a known commodity on the field; Harvin, on the other hand, has yet to play a single down in the NFL, and is regarded by some as an awkward fit in any pro system, given his smallish stature and unproven ability to master routes (in Florida he basically outran defenders).  The risk with Allen was only about his character, not his production, but with Harvin it’s both.  Still, the Vikings have shown themselves willing to take such chances, and given their experience with guys like Allen and Fred Evans, who had a checkered past before coming to the team, maybe they feel more comfortable with a guy like Harvin than teams that have seen such experiments blow up in their faces.

Another factor that can’t be underestimated here is Brad Childress’s background.  The coach actually has a degree in psychology from Eastern Illinois, and seemingly fancies himself an expert in sizing up a player’s marbles.  It could be that Chilly took a look at Harvin’s history, and spoke to Harvin, and concluded that the kid isn’t as big a head-case as everyone else seems to believe.  Should anyone prove skeptical of Childress’s grasp of the inner-workings of the athletic mind, he can always point to his successes with Allen and Evans.  As a matter of fact, Childress has pointed to those successes as a means of justifying taking a chance on a guy others may have cast aside.  “Facts are facts,” the coach said when discussing problem players.  “Sometimes you don’t go by the facts. Sometimes people get second chances like a Jared Allen, like a Fred Evans.”

That statement almost seems like a set-up for Saturday, which may very well see the Vikings and Chilly taking the plunge again.  I’m just not entirely convinced this is a plunge worth taking.  Not when you still need a right tackle, and not when you’re unsure exactly how Harvin’s skills will fit into the KAO.  At the very least, this is all making for a higher level of suspense than we normally see going into a draft.  Last year’s was boring from a Viking fan’s point-of-view; this year’s should be anything but.

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Tags: Brad Childress Fred Evans Jared Allen Minnesota Vikings Percy Harvin

  • jeege

    It should definitely be interesting. I’m just not sure it will be interesting the way that I’d like it to be.

  • Anthony_Carter

    I’m telling you, Harvin has been their target all along. I’ve been saying that for weeks. I also think more has been made of the team’s interest in Loadholt than is necessary. Sure they like him, but he’s not the only option at RT in the 2nd round. If he is gone, I think they draft OT Jamon Meredith and then maybe in the 5th another OT like Lydon Murtha. The great thing about Meredith is he’s arguably the smartest lineman in the NCAA and can play RT, LT, LG and RG. So, if Murtha pans out at RT, you can slide Meredith to RG and have Herrera play C, which he did early in his career. Cook backs up the tackles and C. Sullivan backup C. Artis Hicks backup G and OT. Murtha backup OT. Cut Brian Daniels. If Murtha needs more time, which he probably will, start Meredith at RT, leave Herrera where he is and let Sullivan and Cook fight it out for the C spot. That’s a hell of a line if you ask me.

    Let’s also not forget that it’s highly probably whatever RT we choose will sit the bench or share time with a free agent RT like Runyan or Tauscher.

  • Chris Carter (aka Mike)

    Anthony Carter.  I agree with Chris Carter that a proven WR like Boldin would be better than a draftee and now AZ is only asking for a 2 and some other considerations.  If the Vikings do take the risky pot head Harvin in 1 (which I’m not opposed to), they should move up to get a high-rated RT in 2.  It would be very disappointing if the Vikings didn’t get someone like Oher, Britton or Loadholt at RT.  Beatty and Meredith might be OK, but are a bit more risky.  But all 5 could very well be gone before the Vikings select #54 in the second round (moreover Harvin could be gone at #17).  A fifth rounder, no thanks.  Thats worse than late second rounders Ryan Cook and Marcus Johnson.  I just don’t trust the Vikings to find some hidden gem.  The Vikes should get a vet regardless but few are available and they said they won’t get Runyan or Tauscher due to injury concerns.  The whole right side of the Vikes o-line is suspect when including the guard and now even the center with Birk leaving.  Not a super bowl line without Oher, Britton or Loadholt.  

  • Mike

    Some now predict Percy Harvin may be gone even before 22.  All teams now know if he has the approval of psychologist and well-respected Brad Childress.  The Vikings better move on Boldin before the Bears.  Draft Oher, Britton or Loadholt in 1 and use 2 for Boldin.

  • Anthony_Carter

    I agree Boldin would be best case scenario, but I’d be surprised if the Vikings pull the trigger. Right or wrong, I think they have their plan and are sticking to it.

    Personally, I don’t think Loadholt or Beatty are measurably better than Jamon Meredith. They all seem to have equal probability at being good NFL linemen in my opinion.

    Asher Allen/Mike Mickens
    Kory Sheets/Sharrod Martin
    Terrance Knighton
    Morrty Ivy

  • Mike

    Harvin available at #22 is iffy but it is doubtful any good RT even Meredith will be available at #54.  Vikings will likely need to move up in round 2, so they might as well trade all the way up to get a RT they really want like Loadholt.  But I would still prefer just picking Britton or Loadholt in 1 and using 2 for Boldin.