Harvins Sophomore Rise

By Vidur Malik

The number one storyline for the Minnesota Vikings has been whether Brett Favre will come back next year, but while the reporters and cameras might be focused on him, there are other Vikings who should get some attention. The team has a rising star and playmaker in second-year receiver Percy Harvin, who should have a great year no matter who throws to him.

After running wild against the SEC during his time at Florida, Harvin made an impact during his rookie season, with 790 receiving yards and six touchdowns, and 135 rushing yards. He ran for 1,156 kickoff return yards, with two touchdowns, making him an all-purpose threat. Harvin became a big part of the Vikings’ high-scoring offense, and established himself as one of the many weapons on the team.

If Harvin can stay on the field, he can become the type of football player everyone thought Reggie Bush would become when he got to the NFL. Bush has shown that he is a running, receiving, and return threat, but Harvin is in that triple-threat club as well. Putting up almost 800 yards and six touchdowns in a rookie season is a solid start for a receiver by itself, but if he continues to complement his receiving yards with a few rushing attempts every now and then, and also returns kicks, he can be a beast for many years. He may not be a guy who can get 1,000 yards through the air every year, but fantasy football doesn’t discriminate when it comes to how yards are earned, and owners should be just fine with getting points from Harvin any way he provides them.

With several big-play threats around him, Harvin probably won’t be the main focus of an opposing defense, and with his speed, one missed tackle could mean six. Playing alongside Sidney Rice, another receiver who looks to be a star in the league, and deep-threat Bernard Berrian, Harvin should get his opportunities. The great thing about Harvin is that those opportunities can come from anywhere on the field. He can be lined up out wide as a receiver, in the backfield for wildcat plays, and can also be a threat for reverses and trick plays. Running backs Adrian Peterson and rookie Toby Gerhart should run through the NFC North, making it possible for Harvin to run right past banged-up secondaries.

The concern with Harvin is his migraine headaches, which made it difficult for him to play towards the end of last season. Though they may have slowed him down last year, the migraines didn’t prevent him from putting his play-making ability on display. If anything, Harvin’s ability to manage them should earn him respect for playing through pain. Hopefully Harvin and the Vikings can address the migraines, so he can showcase his skills, which should only improve next year and beyond.


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