Tag Archives: NFL Combine

Not An Issue

Harvin

In a widely publicized report, Percy Harvin, the junior wide receiver formally of the Florida Gators, has tested positive for marijuana use at the 2009 NFL combine. This has been a lingering rumor for quite some time, but became official throughout mainstream media in the past 36 hours.

Yes, Harvin may now be a tough sell to a chapter of the boy-scouts, and he probably won’t be the top candidate to lead a Sunday-school group, but let’s be serious now– this is not a cause for concern. Obviously we don’t condone recreational drug-use for professional athletes, but it’s truly sad how quickly we can tattoo the dreaded term “character issue” to a player, for such a trivial practice .

Certainly, Percy Harvin now has an obligation, as a representative of the National Football League, to stay clean on a zero-tolerance basis. The fact that he failed to keep his urine clean for the biggest job interview in his life, isn’t particularly comforting; however, to allow this drug-test to demean his draft status is just plain silly. If you’re naive enough to believe that Harvin is the only high calibre athlete to smoke pot, you’re horribly mistaken. It’s a common phenomena in pro-sports, that is often jokingly admitted to, and the adverse effects attached to a positive drug test don’t take into account the substantial majority who do not get caught.

Harvin was a hard-working, stand-up guy during his time as a Florida Gator. He was not a chronic law-breaker, nor was he a generic trouble-maker. He was loved by teammates, and was never perceived as a distraction. Some question his coachability and repect for authority, but personally, anyone who plays for his team on a broken ankle, and publicly discloses the injury as a simple sprain needs to be given a tad more credit.

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Filed under Player Analysis, Wide Receiver

Onward, Upward, and Heyward (-Bey)

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This past weekend, the NFL’s 2009 rookie class descended upon Lukas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to participate in the annual NFL Combine. It is there that scouts, team officials and doctors are allowed to poke, prod and examine both the physical and mental capabilities of the future pieces of their franchise.

Each year, there is the proverbial “work-out warrior”, where one player puts up dazzling numbers in the various measurement drills. Warriors of years past include Vernon Gholston (New York Jets), Vernon Davis (San Fran 49ers), Broderick Bunkley (Philadelphia Eagles), and a whole host of others- each of whom got significant paychecks on draft day. This year’s version- Darrius Heyward-Bey, the junior Wide Receiver from the Maryland Terps.

Not only did Heyward-Bey run the second fastest 40-time this decade by a WR (4.3 seconds), but also, he stood out in his position drills, running fluidly and catching the ball well. This was a timely performance seeing that the consensus top wide receiver, Michael Crabtree, has had nothing but adversity consume his name this past weekend. Crabtree reportedly has a stress-fracture in his left foot, which follows the ankle problem that bothered him this past season.

Cue the truly money-making performance by Heyward-Bey, who was originally thought to be a top-25 pick, but now, likely won’t be available past pick number 15.  Hopefully his performance translates into production- which is alarmingly rare, especially when one looks at the names of the past “workout warriors” above. However, there is no reason to believe that DHB won’t succeed in the NFL. His college production matches the dominance of his combine numbers, and he will likely excel at the next level.

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Filed under Player Analysis, Wide Receiver