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John Clayton on NFC North Receivers

Allow me to preface this with the fact that I think John Clayton is a smart guy. Yes, he's a little nerdy, and yes, he kinda looks like the kid that spent way too much time as a teenager building his own computer in his parents' basement. And yes... he totally looks like Mr. Mackey...m'kay.

But the guy knows football quite well.


While watching the Denver-Dallas game on TNT (sidenote: I hate Mark Cuban. He could have been the best thing to happen to sports, and he's turned into one of the worst things to happen to sports. End sidenote.), I skimmed through Clayton's latest mailbag, and the last question was about the Vikings' acquisition of Florida WR Percy Harvin and whether or not he was a good pickup for the Vikes while Michael Oher was on the board.

Clayton goes against the grain by saying that he likes the move, he likes the gamble the Vikings took on a kid with personal issues. He thinks that Minnesota has a strong enough veteran presence and a good position coach to keep him in line. That's great, it really is.

But then Johnny drops this gem on us:

If he works out, the Vikings might be able to surpass the Packers in having the best receiving corps in the NFC North.

Wait, what? Percy Harvin, a slightly-better handed version of Devin Hester, is the piece that gives the Vikings the best receiving corps in the division?

Let's compare the top 5 recievers for each team quickly:

Packers Vikings
1 G. Jennings B. Berrian
2 D. Driver S. Rice
3 J. Nelson P. Harvin
4 J. Jones B. Wade
5 R. Martin A. Allison

I was generous by ranking Harvin third on Minnesota's WR depth chart, but that's only assuming that he's better than Bobby Wade. Safe assumption, in my book. Additionally, Sidney Rice's injury history could easily bump the rookie into a starting role.

In any case, is Clayton really going to argue that, 1 through 5, Harvin makes the Vikings' receivers better than the Packers'? Can anyone make that argument? Berrian would be a 2 on the Packers. Rice would be a 3, maybe. Harvin, as a rookie, would probably be a 4. And who would you rather have, Ruvell Martin or Aundrae Allison?

I will admit that the Vikings have a better running back, a better interior offensive line, and probably better defensive tackles (for now), a better pass rushing end, and a slightly better linebacking corps. But better receivers? I'll let you be the judge.