Pros: Has very good speed and burst as a runner. Runs by all the competition. Has very good straight line speed. He's a strong runner after the catch and not afraid to lower shoulder and deliver hit to defender. Has good hands. Shows he's a willing blocker. Works well in the slot. Can line up and take direct snaps, as well as be a dangerous option on screens and reverses.
Cons: Doesn't change direction well, and is basically a north-south guy. Lacks size and it shows when he's working in trafﬁc. Doesn't attack the ball consistently in the air and has a tough time getting vertical to make catch when blanketed by a corner. Raw as a route runner and may not be able to beat the jam. There are character and durability concerns as well.
Overview: He's a pure playmaker that you need to get the ball in his hands, but he's more of a burner and runner than receiver. Limited by strained Achilles and hip injury as a sophomore. Limited by ankle injury as a freshman. Had a heel injury and right ankle sprain as a junior. During high school, he was suspended from playing basketball his ﬁnal two years for shoving a referee and igniting a bench-clearing brawl. Had nearly as many rushing yards (1,852) in his career as receiving yards (1,929), but more rushing touchdowns (19) than receiving (13). Never returned kicks or punts.
NFL Forecast: Harvin will be a dynamic playmaker for some team. He'll work on special teams as a returner and could be a very dangerous kickoff returner. He'll work on offense out of the slot and you'll need to design a handful of plays for him to provide that spark to your offense. He'll act largely as a decoy. But he's unpolished as a receiver, and I doubt will ever be a consistent option purely from that standpoint. He's too small and raw, and is not a natural receiver. He's a track guy that is closer to a running back than receiver. The other issue with him is that he doesn't appear to possess the work ethic or strong character to think he'll really improve as a wideout. He'll certainly be a signiﬁcant factor for an offense, but he'll be an occasional playmaker like Reggie Bush more so than a go- to player.
ATL Forecast: Harvin could certainly add a new element to the Falcon offense. He'll work out of the slot, and is not a better receiver than the current group of guys, but will deﬁnitely help provide an occasional big play element to the roster. That role he could take from Norwood, making re-signing him not really an issue down the road. But he'd only be a part time player and will never be a consistent starter, much like Norwood.
Value: Harvin's big play potential makes him a ﬁrst round talent, but because of the character concerns I'd drop him to an early second.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
AFTER CATCH: 5.0
BODY CONTROL: 2.0
Scouting Reports of wide receivers in the 2009 NFL draft.
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