Will Minnesota replace a possibly-outgoing star with an exciting first-round rookie?
The Minnesota Vikings and Percy Harvin seem to be on the outs right now. Numerous trade rumors -- and reports that head coach Leslie Frazier and the versatile star are constantly at odds -- lead many to the conclusion that Harvin will be traded during the offseason. While that makes sense given the circumstances, it doesn't change the fact that Harvin is one of the most important football players on that team. Replacing him won't be easy, but it will be necessary if Minnesota wants to continue making the playoffs.
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One player that is consistently compared to Harvin, as well as other playmakers like CJ Spiller and Jamaal Charles, is West Virginia WR Tavon Austin. He's one of the quickest and most elusive players in the draft and he might actually fit the Harvin mold quite well. However, it's another playmaker that CBS Sports' Rob Rang projects to the Vikings in his latest mock draft. It is Cal WR Keenan Allen:
The MVP-caliber play of running back Adrian Peterson helped hide the fact that other than Percy Harvin (who led the team in catches despite playing in just nine games), the Vikings have few receivers who scare opposing defenses. Allen is a classic split-end with the size, physicality and mindset to perform well here immediately.
The wide receiver class of 2013 does not have a consensus "number one prospect" among them between Allen, Austin, Cordarelle Patterson, and several other names. So it is anyone's guess as to who the Vikings would select if they did trade away Harvin. But any of them would make some sense for a team that is lacking depth in the position as it is already.
Allen is just one of many.