UPDATE - Harvin is out for most (if not all) of the season.
Latest Injury Underscores Need To Temper Expectations
Prior to news that he had been placed on the physically unable to perform list, I was feverishly working on an article concerning the ADPs of various WRs. And it included the somewhat perplexing question of why so many owners were overly infatuated with William Percival Harvin III. Because a massive percentage of owners had already exhibited an overabundance of faith in Harvin by selecting him seventh among all WRs in Mock Drafts, with an ADP of 26. That currently places him ahead of Larry Fitzgerald, Randall Cobb, Roddy White, Vincent Jackson, and a plethora of proven producers at the position. In my research toward completing the upcoming ADP article, I was essentially astounded at the lofty degree of respect that Harvin had captured among so many during their collective draft process.
While that ADP could now easily change, his latest injury still underscores how important it is for owners to temper their expectations regarding Harvin. HC Pete Carroll has confirmed that his most recent issue resides in the area of his hip labrum. And evaluations are continuing. This provides owners with yet another reason to reassess Harvin's viability as WR1, which is where he had been frequently selected. Even though he is considered to be among the league’s most explosive performers, a decision to draft him that early must be based upon perception of his potential. Because a breakdown of his numbers illustrates that his actual productivity has yet to match the hype that surrounds him. Since entering the NFL in 2009, Harvin has not delivered a 1,000-yard season. His career high in TDs is only six. And his average of 70 receptions is hardly exceptional. In his most productive season (2011), Harvin did finish fourth among all WRs with 87 catches, but was just 19th in yardage (967), and 27th in scoring (six). His 14 receptions of 20+ yards were also exceeded by 21 other WRs. Previous health problems have already forced Harvin to miss 10 contests in his initial four seasons. That includes last seven games last season, as a result of an ankle problem.
Harvin's situation does not significantly alter the value of Russell Wilson, who I still expect to have an exceptional year. But there is genuine concern about Harvin’s track record that should cause hesitation in those who might otherwise select him. Because his raw talent is undeniable, but it simply has yet to translate into elite numbers. Also, the belief from here is that Marshawn Lynch will approach the 300 carries that he has averaged over the past two seasons. Plus, Sidney Rice and Golden Tate are likely to capture a reasonable percentage of targets, regardless of Harvin's status.
Prior to reports that were generated regarding his hip, I was planning to recommend that owners should avoid selecting Harvin before the beginning of Round 4. And certainly not before Fitzgerald, Cobb, White and Jackson have been chosen. Even if Harvin ultimately is deemed to be completely healthy before you execute your official drafts, and appears likely to join Seattle’s lineup on opening day, I would suggest that you focus your efforts on securing more reliable receiving options. Unless he happens to be available at the close of Round 4. That would make him the 15-17th WR to depart your draft board, which seems far more reasonable. But if his status remains uncertain when you enter the draft process, or if it appears that he will be sidelined, the WR position contains enough depth for you to select other options.