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NFL Draft 2009 Review: WR Percy Harvin

So what do these NFL players all have in common?

- WR Chad Jackson
- WR Taylor Jacobs
- WR Andre Caldwell
- RB Ciatrick Fason
- TE Ben Troupe
- QB Rex Grossman
- WR Jabar Gaffney
- K Jeff Chandler
- WR Reche Caldwell
- QB Jesse Palmer

If you answered "They're all guys I'm never drafting on my fantasy team" you're actually close.  They are all (not some, all) the fantasy position players drafted in the first four rounds out of the University of Florida since 2000.  And also you're never drafting them on your fantasy team.

It's not a smart fantasy move to discount every player out of a certain school just because of past history, but everybody who follows college football realizes that some programs are hyped and some are not. Florida is one of those schools that are hyped a lot.  While their college success may justify the hype, the NFL production of their alumni does not.  Percy Harvin went from "a mid-level RB" to "Not good enough to play RB in the NFL so he'll play WR" to "Percy Harvin will be very good NFL WR" to "Percy Harvin is the ultimate weapon!" to first-round NFL draft pick over the course of four months.  I'm not sure how that happened.  You should think about how that happened before you draft him too.

Harvin is small and fast and has great hands in a Maurice Jones-Drew / Brian Westbrook sort of way.  The problem is that the Vikings aren't going to give Harvin the number of carries that Jones-Drew and Westbrook get (the Vikes have a pretty good RB already) so that reduces Harvin's fantasy value quite a bit. 

He's too small to catch the ball over the middle.  He may be the deep receiver the Vikings have lacked, but he only had two games with 4+ catches last year at Florida.  I don't see exactly how Minnesota is going to integrate him into the offense.  Have him return kicks?  Run eight reverses every game?  How many times can they direct-snap to him?

I'm not criticizing Harvin's ability, he seems to be quite the athlete.  With the QB situation in Minnesota being iffy, the WR1 slot being iffy and the offense revolving around Adrian Peterson, I simply don't see how he provides enough fantasy value for your team.  He's worth a shot, but don't count on him as anything more than a risky flier.