Harvin will begin pro career in Minnesota
He was the fourth receiver taken in the draft behind Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey, Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree and Missouri's Jeremy Maclin.
"It was a great privilege, actually going through this whole process,'' Harvin said Saturday evening of being selected by the Vikings. "Me and my agent, Joel Segal, who helped me out a ton, we kind of went through the teams we wanted to go to. Minnesota was kind of number one on my list, just being a team that I could grow from, being under Bernard Berrian and being that they already got a workhorse in Adrian Peterson. I’m just looking to come in and help win and be a (piece of) this puzzle. I’m looking forward to being a Viking and helping the team win.''
Once a projected mid first-round pick, many analysts had Harvin's stock dropping to a late first-round selection after it became public that he tested positive for marijuana during February's NFL combine.
Vikings coach Brad Childress flew to Gainesville earlier in the week to have one last heart-to-heart meeting with Harvin and his family before Saturday's draft.
"I think I went down to that meeting with just questions that I had to get satisfied - more so (with him) than anybody that we thought was going to be available around that area of the draft,'' Childress said. "So that is exactly why I went down there. . . I think he is a guy that has made a mistake. I think we have all made mistakes. I think the big thing is that you look it in the eye; you recognize it for what it is, you admit to it and then I think how you deal with adversity as you go forward. Do you let it bury you? Or do you fix it? That’s part of growing up. That’s part of that growing process.''
Harvin said he wasn't nervous about the last-minute meeting with Childress, and he didn't try to dodge the issues.
"Growing up, I’ve always been good with getting things out in the open,'' Harvin said. "I knew it was a question that had to be answered. I had no problems with answering it. With these coaches, I opened up to them and they opened up to me. When it got to those subjects, the only thing I could do was tell them the truth, be up front and let them judge me from there. We had a great respect for each other. Them picking me shows they believed in me. I got their back and they got mine. I’m just looking forward to becoming a Viking.''
Childress said Harvin's former coaches, including Urban Meyer and defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, never wavered in their support of Harvin since the day he announced he would be leaving for the NFL. Harvin said he was touched by that support.
"It means more than words can describe,'' he said. "After every visit, all I could do is just text coach (Meyer) and tell him thank you for everything. I feel like I owed him the world. We had probably the best relationship I could have as far as player-coach relationship with those guys. I owe the University of Florida and the Gator Nation more than I can ever describe. The coaches, I thank them. A lot of my success and a lot things that have come before have helped with moving me and helping me grow as a person.''