Is Percy Harvin the Most Electrifying Player in the Entire NFL?

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistOctober 1, 2012

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 30: Percy Harvin #12 of the Minnesota Vikings takes the opening kickoff for a touch down as John Wendling #29 of the Detroit Lions chases at Ford Field on September 30, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Percy Harvin wanted to be more involved. 

The Vikings have done so, and he has responded.

Boy howdy, has he responded.

He has not just excelled receiving the ball, but has lined up as a running back and returned kicks.

Whenever he touches the ball, it's magic. He's always a shoestring tackle away from a big play, and sometimes even that doesn't stop him.

He's clearly an electrifying player. But is he THE most electrifying in the NFL?

It's not quite as clear-cut as you might think.

For Harvin, he stated his case during his fantastic 105-yard kickoff return touchdown Sunday, where he showed off his vision, after-burner speed and overall elusiveness.

That's a play you call electric. Any time he gets his hands on the ball, things happen. The knock on him was, (and for his detractors) and still remains, his constant migraines, but they haven't been a problem this season.

Who else contends for the crown? I went to Twitter for an unbiased (?) survey of the most electrifying players in the league.

Harvin has his supporters, and not jut among the Vikings faithful. 

Here were some great suggestions I wholeheartedly agree need to be in the conversation. When I could get them, I inserted highlights.

JJ Watt 

There is no denying that Watt is a beast, a terror in cleats at defensive end for the Houston Texans. Without a doubt, next to Harvin, he was the name that came up most (C.J. Spiller a close third).

Whenever he gets into the backfield (which would be often), Watt is exciting to watch, as you know he's going to get at the quarterback and make a big play. 

This weekend was another great example of the impact he can have, as he walked away with two sacks and four solo tackles. 

He's undoubtedly a fantastic player to watch, and since he's only in his second year, the best may be yet to come. 

It's a different sort of electrifying than we tend to think about it. He's not a kick returner, he doesn't get the ball in his hands, but he is exciting nonetheless every time he takes the field.

Clay Matthews

Matthews is having a heck of a season, with eight sacks total already as we approach Week 5. He's a huge factor in any offensive game planning and has made some fantastic plays this year after a depressingly barren 2011.

He also has a great flair for what he does, and his personality and confidence shine through in the way he plays, as well as his little displays after a sack.

If there is one knock on him for me this year, it's that he disappears on occasion. He's still doing his job, but fades to the background on occasion. All "electrifying" players do that at times, so it's hard to get on him much about that.

DeMarco Murray

Murray is a fantastic back who is playing in an offense which has issues. Whenever he touches the ball, you hold your breath because we know he has the ability to break a big run.

Even his shorter runs, like this touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are exciting to watch. On what looked like a run play that would fall short of the end zone, Murray dove into the end zone as he was losing his balance for a score.

Like Watt, here is a guy just getting started. He should be fun to watch, though he may have some poor statistical games unless the Cowboys offense as a whole can pick it up.

C.J. Spiller

I won't be the first one to say "C.J. Spiller is a tremendous player," followed up by "when he's on the field."

That's the problem, and frustration, with Spiller.

For example, he had a huge day against the New York Jets in Week 1 and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2, then was hurt in Week 3 and again in Week 4.

When Spiller is healthy and has the ball in his hands, he is incredibly dangerous and can turn what looks to be a short run on the outside into a huge gain and a touchdown.

Shifty, quick and explosive, Spiller is dynamite. Though that dynamite all to often blows itself up, as his name ends up on the injury report.

Cam Newton

Newton almost didn't make this list because the Panthers and he have had issues this season. Still, he guarantees getting your attention on every snap. 

At his best, he is a threat to run or pass on any play, though the Panthers have changed their play-calling a little this year, limiting the explosiveness of his game. 

Still, Cam Newton is exciting to watch, and his three touchdowns this past weekend in a losing effort (which can be put on the coach and offensive coordinator, not Newton) serve as evidence that he can excite us with every snap.

A.J. Green

How long until Green enters the discussion of elite top wide receivers? 

After a rough start, he now has three straight games with a touchdown and two in a row with well over 100 yards. 

I'm not a big fan of quarterback Andy Dalton's, and to me, that makes Green even more impressive. Dalton is a good enough quarterback, but Green's numbers are eye-popping as are many of the catches.

In fact, as proof of this, check out his amazing touchdown on a pass thrown by fellow receiver Mohamed Sanu. I couldn't embed it, so follow this link. Great acceleration, great route running, beautiful hands. The Redskins can't stop him; they can't even hope to contain him.

Any time the ball goes his direction, some highlight-reel catch and run is about to happen. You just know it in your bones.

Hmmmmm. Maybe he's already in the conversation.

Jamaal Charles

Honestly, I have long thought Charles to be the the most misused running back in the league. This year, I figured I would give the Chiefs the benefit of the doubt since he was coming off a pretty savage leg injury.

With the exception of a weak game against Buffalo, which was not his fault, Charles has been phenomenal this year. He showed that perfectly on a 91-yard touchdown run against the hapless Saints defense in Week 3. On the play, he got great blocking, but most of the damage was all Charles, as he blew by and outran the defense.

Charles looks like he is 100 percent and is the only thing worth being excited about in the Chiefs' disastrous offense.

Robert Griffin III

Griffin is compared to Cam Newton a lot because they can both throw and run well. That's an unfair comparison to begin with given Newton's rookie year, and he's lazy in my opinion anyway.

One thing they do have in common is the ability to light up a crowd with their play.

So far, Griffin has done a pretty good job of putting his team in a position to win and has been pretty darn exciting to watch as he does it. He has made some beautiful passes and some tremendous runs, sometimes at the same time.

He's not polished yet, which leads him to some bad decisions and throws, which, while exciting, aren't really what you want to see as a Redskin fan.

Griffin has more work to do to become a truly great quarterback, but he's off to an exciting start.

For my money, Harvin remains the most electrifying player in the league this year. His speed, vision, agility and the way he can turn any play into a huge gain is exciting every time he gets the ball. It helps that he has neither health issues nor problems with the offensive play-calling.

What do you think? Vote in the poll or add your thoughts in the comments below.

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Follow me on Twitter at @andrew_garda.


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