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Vikes choose mercurial wideout... do you feel lucky? (04/29/2009)
By John Edstrom

Well fans, for the Purple, this is the year of feeling lucky. They went into the draft with a crying need at offensive tackle, then cornerback, and after that, a defensive tackle, center, or wideout, whichever was there. When the Vikes picked, Michael Oher was available, considered by many to be near top ten talent. Also available were the second CB to go, Vontae Davis, and the second defensive tackle, Peria Jerry. Instead, the brain trust rolled the dice on Percy Harvin, who carries double baggage of both an injury history, and the dreaded Character Issues. (At least we will be the only franchise with a wideout quintessentially named “Percy.”)

You can forgive a lot of odd behavior in a high-spirited youth growing up in that wholesome Florida environment. But failing the drug test at the combine, with millions of dollars at stake, does not speak well of the quality of judgment and general intelligence of a young man soon to be turned loose on the streets of the Twin Cities, with plenty of millions and his nights free. However, if Harvin stays healthy and out of trouble, only the imagination of Brad Childress will be the limit of the damage this team can do on offense next season, no matter who mans the QB position.

Besides, Oher, projected to play left tackle, might have been more talent than the Vikes wanted, where their need is at right tackle, an easier position to fill. (He also has significant bust potential.) Phillip Loadholt, the OT they drafted second, is better suited to the right side, huge, and what is called a road grader in the run game. However, you will often enough see speedy defensive ends like Green Bay’s Aaron Campman run right around him to the QB to season your memory of Ryan Cook with a bit of charity.

In the third round, the Vikes chose Asher Allen out of Georgia, a CB who tackles well but does not have the top speed or ball skills to be a great cover guy. Hmm...sounds a lot like Cedric Griffin to me. He was timed at 4.48 in the forty, fast enough, but is a bit short at 5’9”-10.” He was projected to go in the second or third round, so Allen is probably a good value where the Vikes picked him.

The remainders of the second day, South Carolina linebacker Jasper Brinkley and Mississippi safety Jamarca Sanford, if they can make the squad and contribute on special teams, will help to determine whether the ‘09 draft was good, bad, or indifferent, but the crucial factor will be how well Percy Harvin pans out. He has the skills to get the Vikes to the Super Bowl, and the personality to blow up this draft and set the Childress regime tottering. 


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