While most prognosticators picked Arthur Brown to come off the board late in the first round, family, friends, and fans were forced until the 56th pick for the Baltimore Ravens to call his name. Yet for every ounce of disappointment Brown experienced, Chris Harper was equally overjoyed by coming off the board in the fourth round when the Seattle Seahawks selected him with the 123rd overall pick in the NFL draft.
Harper will be part of an effort to completely retool Seattle’s receiving corps. The team was excited coming into 2012 with rookie Russell Wilson throwing to a promising committee that included Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate and Sidney Rice. And while the Seahawks were successful in making the playoffs, coach Pete Carroll came into the offseason with the intention of bringing in tougher receivers to the field. The team’s first step was trading for Vikings WR Percy Harvin. Selecting Harper was the second.
Seattle is a physical football team – an attribute perfectly suited for Harper’s playing style. It would be a mistake for a purely finesse team to take him on, but that’s not what happened. The Seahawks’ offense runs through Wilson, who is just as adept at taking off and running as throwing the ball. Additionally, Carroll’s favorite play is handing off to the bruising Marshawn Lynch – one of the most difficult running backs to tackle in the NFL.
That dynamic was only enhanced by the trade for Harvin, who is as dangerous out of the backfield as he is split wide left. Harper will truly be an asset in this situation, as he is more than capable of catching any pass thrown his way by Wilson and cannot be taken lightly by the secondary. However, his true strength is literally his strength; he is the most adept blocker among the roster’s receivers and will keep cornerbacks, safeties, and even linebackers preoccupied in the run game. Opponents cannot key in on Harvin with so much other talent on the field (including Rice, et. al.), and Harper will secure the gaps necessary for Seattle’s run game to be successful.
Harper took to Twitter Saturday to express his excitement following his draft selection
— Chris Harper (@THEChrisHarper) April 27, 2013