Percy Harvin is Offensive Rookie of the Year. Now Aren't You Glad We Didn't Draft Michael Oher?

There was much debate going into this year’s draft over which position the Vikings should address.  Some said we needed a tackle worse than anything, others argued we had to take a cornerback, a few advocated for a center or even a quarterback.

Quite a few focused in on the wide receiver position, which had been a Viking thin spot for years, and targeted Florida’s Percy Harvin as the man to select.

Those in favor of Harvin pointed out his great speed, shiftiness and versatility.  Those opposed mentioned Harvin’s failed drug test at the combine, rumors of bad behavior at college and a history of injuries.

The Vikings brain trust, as it turned out, had Harvin on their radar screens from early on.  Hoping to assuage his doubts about Harvin’s character, Brad Childress ventured to Florida to speak to coach Urban Meyer, and sat down with Percy and his family.

Whatever those folks said to Childress must’ve calmed his worries, because when draft day rolled around, the Vikings took Harvin with the 22nd overall pick.

The selection irritated those who thought Ole Miss tackle Michael Oher was the perfect guy to lock down the right tackle position, which had been troublesome since the days of Korey Stringer, and annoyed those who thought Kenny Britt or Hakeem Nicks would be a better fit for the Vikings’ offense.

In the end, Brad Childress would be vindicated.

From early in the season, it became clear that Percy Harvin was a special player.  He gave the Vikings’ special teams an immediate infusion of excitement with his long returns, and as a slot receiver, he proved not only his quickness but his fearlessness in going over the middle.  The doubters quickly found themselves falling in love with Percy, as did his new quarterback, the legendary Brett Favre.

Not that everything went perfectly smoothly with Harvin.  Two much-publicized preseason incidents, both involving vomit, cast the rookie’s health and attitude in doubt.  And, during the season, several migraine headache episodes, including one that forced Harvin to miss some game-time, prompted some to question Harvin’s prospects for a long, fruitful career.

The in-game performance, however, cannot be questioned.  Harvin developed a quick chemistry with Favre, becoming #4′s favorite target in third-down situations, and his shifty moves and surprising physicality soon earned him the respect of many a failed tackler.

Now, for his contributions to the return game and passing attack of the 12-4 Vikings, Harvin has been selected as the Associated Press’s offensive rookie of the year, ahead of Michael Oher, Jeremy Maclin, Knowshon Moreno and Mike Wallace.

Not that Viking fans needed anymore proof of Harvin’s brilliance.

It remains to be seen if the Vikings will receive the ultimate vindication for their various moves the last few years – a Super Bowl ring – but at least, in the short term, it appears they made the right choice with Harvin.

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Tags: Brad Childress Brett Favre Minnesota Vikings Percy Harvin

  • joe

    Amazing what having a REAL leader can do to the team. Harvin is great, but don’t underestimate the ways #4 helped everyone step up their game.

  • joe

    What ever happened to bernie, that little girl that used to come here and talk smack?

  • Mike

    Danzinski is inconsistent: bashing McKinnie then brushing aside the best tackle the Vikings could have drafted to replace him. From what I have heard Michael Oher has had a huge year with Baltimore. Oher could have solved 2 positions for the Vikings: the important left tackle position and would have also allowed the Vikings to move McKinnie, who is a much better run than pass blocker, to right tackle. Percy has been great when he has played but has also lived up to fears of health problems, often missing practice and even games. Awards aside, this is not a clear choice even based on this year alone.

  • Mike

    Danzinski, you didn’t make it clear Oher finished second. Oher didn’t expect to get the award because he is a lineman, which I think is fair. Oher is great.

  • Mike

    Another advantage of Oher is his mobility would have allowed the Vikings to have moved from just an inside zone blocking team to also somewhat of an outside zone blocking team, at least on the left side. The Vikings have a running back that can run both inside the tackles and outside but an offensive line that can only handle inside the tackles. Can you imagine what that would have done for Peterson???

    Moreover, Oher would have been the Vikings franchise left tackle for 10 years to come in a conference that is a weak at the crucial left tackle position, perhaps the most important position in football after the QB and maybe RB. This rookie of the year award was really nothing to gloat about.

  • joe

    Hindsight is 20/20 – it is foolish to proclaim the vikings should have drafted so-and-so because he would have been the starting blah-blah-blah for 100 million years.

    Fact: Very few draft choices pan out, much less become standout players.

    Harding has been a huge impact player this year – all you can ask for. Would oher have made a difference for “three-and-out” peterson (if he held onto the ball)?

    Maybe – but railing on Harvin that made direct contributions to an outstanding year?

    Just more hot air…

  • Different Joe

    Yeah, but Percy doesn’t have a fun movie.