Inside The Bills

If not Sanchez, Rex would’ve drafted Harvin

Posted by Chris Brown on March 20, 2015 – 12:49 pm

The Bills recent signing of Percy Harvin raised questions in the minds of some as to just what type of teammate the Bills would be welcoming into their locker room. Both Bills head coach Rex Ryan and receivers coach Sanjay Lal, who both coached Harvin in New York with the Jets, said Buffalo’s current players will be inheriting an exemplary teammate. In fact Ryan did a lot of homework on Harvin when he was coming out of college because he had plans to make the dynamic offensive threat a first-round pick in the 2009 NFL draft.

In an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550, Ryan said Harvin would’ve been the Jets’ first-round pick in 2009 had they not made a call to move up and get Mark Sanchez.

“When he came out we did a lot of research on him,” said Ryan of Harvin. “Percy was the guy we were going to draft if it wasn’t Mark Sanchez. We spent like a week (at the University of Florida). So we knew everything about him. I was really comfortable with it. When we brought him in (by trade with the Jets last season) he was everything we thought he’d be. That was a great teammate and a super competitive guy and a great guy to be around.”

In 2009 the Jets had the 17th overall pick in round one. They traded it to Cleveland along with their second-round pick at 52 and three players (Kenyon Coleman, Brett Ratliff and Abram Elam) to move all the way up to fifth overall to take Sanchez. Had they stayed at 17 Ryan said they would’ve taken Harvin, and he would’ve been there. Harvin didn’t come off the board until the 22nd pick to Minnesota.

Ryan believes in Harvin’s will to win and feels he’s a solid teammate as well. That was echoed by Lal, who appeared on the John Murphy Show this week.

“I don’t know that I know what makes him tick, but he and I hit it off from the beginning,” Lal told the John Murphy Show. “We think alike about how players should be coached. I have great respect for what he does and he wants to be coached and coached hard. He just wants to improve and help the team win. That’s the impression that I got.”

Ryan knows about Harvin’s past in Seattle where he had a couple of run-ins with teammates, but things went real well under Ryan with the Jets for Harvin. Ryan even gave an example of what his Jets teammates thought of him.

“One of the highest awards is the Ed Block Courage award that the players vote on and he finished second in the voting after being on the roster just four weeks so that should tell you what his teammates thought of him,” Ryan said.


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