All of the arguments for not drafting Percy Harvin go something like this:
“The Patriots won’t draft Percy Harvin because...
(Insert your favorite Myth here.)”
Well, I’m here to debunk those Myths, whether or not they draft him.
Myth #1 – Scoring more points isn't the main concern, Defense is!
In his on words, to Patriots.com, Bill Belichick says:
“I don’t think our current roster impacts too much of our plans in any draft. We draft based on what’s up there and what we feel those players can do for our football team. If you start drafting by need, or try to come out of the draft and say ‘we needed a guard, we got a guard. We needed a receiver, we got a receiver’…
“But if they can’t perform and fill that role for you competitively on the field, then you really haven’t done anything. It still comes back to drafting players that can be productive in your system.
“We have to try to take a look at each player and figure out what value they have for our team, and how they would fit into this team,” … We have to try to evaluate what the player can do for our team, and what his role would be, and how we see that developing. And try to put some kind of value on that.”
Myth #2 – He’s an injury risk.
While nobody denies Harvin has injury concerns,
it's quite another thing to say that the Pats will, or even, should
pass on him due to that. Who is to say that that will continue?
BB often says that a prospect will be plagued in college by injuries
only to get to the Pros and never get injured again. Or, conversely:
He’ll be injury free in college but then spend his Pro career on IR.
But just think how much fun BB can have with the injury report now.
Myth #3 - Jeremy Maclin is a safer WR prospect because
he is ‘bigger + less injury prone.’
Now you’re sounding like Lions fans. Here’s why:
They were projected by some to take Jarod Mayo in round 1.
But Jarod Mayo (knee surgery) was considered to be a medical
red flag. So, instead they all wanted Lofton, Connor or Rivers.
The Lions coaches loved Mayo. But Matt Millen did nothing
to secure him. A LOT of people thought he’d still be there in
round two. When the Pats grabbed him, the Lions traded back.
The lesson(s): Don’t stack your board according to best health.
Also, there are no guarantees. And don’t ever hire Matt Millen.
Oh, and, Maclin’s size and route running are even more suspect.
Myth #4 – Bethel Johnson was a bust.
Now wait a minute. If the Pats brass thought that
Bethel Johnson was worthy of a number two pick, that is all the
more reason to believe that they would value Harvin as a #1 pick.
Johnson had a list of previous injuries and health concerns a mile
long. But, still, they saw a raw physical set of tools worth the risk.
Harvin comes in much less a risk and considerably more talented.
Myth #5 - Florida U. is historically a poor WR factory.
Both BB and scouts, in general, frequently
say that you have to judge each individual prospect on his
own merits. Evaluate players, not schools. That’s only fair.
But, remember, too, that these Florida Gators are in no
way whatsoever the same Steve Spurrier Fun&Gun Gators.
Chad Jackson was a Spurrier recruit. Urban Meyer inherited him.
But Percy Harvin was recruited by Meyer, a Bill Belichick buddy.
So you’re really comparing apples to oranges here, obviously.
Myth #6 - He can't run routes.
Myth Busted –
Most every WR coming into the league needs
to work on his routes. That’s a given due to the Pro-style Offense.
He rounds his routes, like most do. But why single out Harvin?
The real question is, can he develop? The answer: YES.
I’ve heard Meyer say a few times that he graded out 100%
on his assignments (100%!). That’s pretty impressive. He calls
him “a relentless competitor,” as opposed to a Chad Jackson.
He also says that Harvin has the quickest first step of anybody
that he’s ever seen. And that he’s been working on technique
with him from day one, because you can’t just run go-routes.
He also added 10lbs of muscle so he won’t be bumped at the line.
Myth #7 - You can find a Marques Colston late, instead.
Myth Busted –
Why, because there is a Colston in every draft? Yet the Pats
missed him and every other Colston over the past 5 years?
That’s absurd. Colston and Boldin are exceptions, not the norm.
You don’t pass on top end talent to hunt a diamond in the rough.
With that said, there are a number of late round WR’s that I like.
Myth #8 - BB doesn't "gamble" on 1st round picks.
Myth Busted –
The draft is a crapshoot. Every pick is a gamble!
Maroney, Watson, Mankins, Mayo…all these guys were risks.
Hell, even Wilfork fell for a reason, and Seymour had his doubters.
Myth # 9 – Percy Harvin = Reggie Bush.
Myth Busted –
Harvin was recruited heavily by USC to be “the next
Reggie Bush.” That was their selling point. He turned them down cold.
And with good reason: He’s not Bush. He’s better.
Just to illustrate that point, as others have, Harvin averaged 4yds more
per touch than Bush did. But he did on fewer carries, and versus tougher
opponents. Moreover, Harvin can run it up the gut or burn you deep.
While Bush has been preoccupied more with scoring with Kim Kardashian
than the NFL, Harvin willingly took a backseat to Tim Tebow’s fame. All
he cares about is winning games and Championships. And it shows.
Myth # 10 - They already have Moss and Welker.
Myth Busted -
Even with Moss and Welker, they shelled out big bucks for Stallworth.
Granted, Stallworth didn’t produce. But I think it shows the importance
of having that 3rd guy at WR that can make teams pay in coverage.
Harvin is just electric. It’s very rare to see players have such impact.
If he can rip off a few big gainers at Tailback at key moments, or maybe
single-handedly win a game or two on Special Teams, all the better.
SN: Gators make sure Harvin gets his fill - College football- nbcsports.msnbc.com