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Seahawks obviously happy to have Percy Harvin
Missing the extra buzz from the NFL Draft that traditionally has been the introductory news conference for the Seahawks’ first-round selection?
The Seahawks acquired their first-round pick in March, when they traded the 25th pick in the just-completed draft to the Minnesota Vikings to acquire Percy Harvin and the diverse bag of skills that he’ll bring to the offense as a receiver and runner, and special teams as a kickoff returner.
Harvin is very much the team’s first-round pick. If that isn’t apparent yet, you haven’t been paying attention.
That introductory news conference on March 12 began with Harvin poising between coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider – and all three holding Harvin No. 11 jerseys – just like coach and GM had done following the past three drafts with first-round picks Russell Okung and Earl Thomas (2010), James Carpenter (2011) and Bruce Irvin (2012).
During his pre-draft Q&A session with reporters, Schneider used the verbal equivalent of a neo-colored highlighter to underline the fact that the team considers Harvin this year’s first-round pick.
“We’re just going to sit there and You Tube Percy Harvin highlights,” Schneider cracked when asked how he and his staff and Carroll and his staff planned to spend the first round of the draft.
Carroll took that to the next level, and beyond, with this video re-introducing Harvin as the team’s first-round draft choice on Thursday, when the first round was conducted with the Seahawks as beyond-interested bystanders.
“The Seahawks are getting ready for kind of a quiet evening, except we’ve got Percy in the house,” Carroll said. “Percy is really our No. 1 pick this year.”
Overselling the point? No, just the attitude you’d expect from anyone who had just beaten the system. The rest of the league justified what the Seahawks had done by trading away their first-round pick in the first round – when one wide receiver (Tavon Austin to the St. Louis Rams at No. 8), one quarterback (E.J. Manuel to the Buffalo Bills at No. 16) and one tight end (Tyler Eifert to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 21) were drafted before the spot the Seahawks once held. The other eight offensive players taken in the Top 25 were linemen.
And consider this: Austin, the top-rated wide-out in this year’s draft class, caught 288 passes during his four-season career at West Virginia; Giovani Bernard, the first running back drafted (with the fifth pick in the second round by the Bengals), averaged 5.9 yards per carry in two seasons at North Carolina; and Cordarrelle Patterson, the top-rated kick returner in this draft class and also a wide receiver who went No. 29 in the first round to the Vikings, returned six kickoffs for touchdowns in three season at Tennessee.
In his past four seasons, Harvin caught 280 passes, averaged 6.4 yards as a runner and returned five kickoffs for touchdowns – in the NFL, with the Vikings. And he’s only one player. And a not-yet, 25-year-old one at that.
He’s now a member of the Seahawks, who emerged from the 2013 NFL Draft with Harvin as well as the 11 players they selected on Friday and Saturday who also will increase the competition for roster spots on an already good team that posted the third-best regular-season record (11-5) in club history in 2012 and then won the franchise’s first road playoff game since 1983.
While discussing the addition of two more running backs in the draft – Christine Michael in the second round and Spencer Ware in the sixth round – Carroll couldn’t steer clear of the obvious.
“Percy will affect how we’re doing things as well,” he offered.
Then there’s Harvin role in all this. He can now claim he’s been a first-round draft choice twice – the 22nd pick overall in 2009 by the Vikings and the 25th pick overall in 2013 by the Seahawks. Not a bad thing to have on your resume.
“Like I said at my press conference, it’s an honor and a privilege to be here to an established program, to play amongst my peers – a lot of the guys I played with in college,” Harvin said Monday, when the players moved into Phase 2 of their offseason program.
“So it’s just a blessing for me.”
The Seahawks obviously feel blessed, as well, to have added a triple-threat performer whose NFL numbers are comparable to, or better than, the college statistics put up by the top receiver, runner and returner selected this year’s draft.
“I just try to do the best I can at all positions,” Harvin said. “No matter where I’m at on the field, I try to do it at a high level.”
One last point: The 11 rookies the Seahawks drafted over the weekend won’t report until May 9, the day before their three-day minicamp. Harvin already is here, and has been for weeks leading up to the draft.