NFL is Catching on to Meyer's WRs

Some of Florida's rivals have attempted to improve their success against the Gators on the recruiting trail by going after Urban Meyer's offense. Sure, it produced points by the bushel last year. Yes, he has won two national titles with it. Despite that, claim the opposing recruiters, it's not going to get top wide receiver prospects ready for the National Football League.

Urban Meyer's been working to counter that line of thinking, but a few recent developments from the pros indicate he may not need to much longer.

Percy Harvin being drafted in the first round by Minnesota in April was the beginning of the UF pushback against the "they won't get you to the league" routine. He went at pick 22, despite having the baggage of a positive drug test for marijuana at the NFL Combine. Ever since he arrived in Minnesota, the Viking coaches have been raving about his ability, with Brad Childress comparing his versatility to Brian Westbrook and discussing using him in the Wildcat formation. With the weapons around him in Minnesota, some league insiders are already tabbing Harvin as the prime early candidate for Rookie of the Year.

Harvin's not a "pure" wide receiver, though. Can UF get someone without his unique gifts ready for the league? It appears the answer is yes, if you believe the rave reviews the Oakland Raiders are giving their fourth round pick Louis Murphy. Oakland coach Tom Cable recently called Murphy "the surprise of our rookie class".

Cable went on to tell NFL.com's Steve Wyche of Murphy, "He has all the makings to be a very special football player at this level -- mainly because he was impressive on a daily basis. We really think we found one."

Last year's UF wide receiver draftee is turning heads in Cincinnati. After being a third round pick Andre Caldwell had injuries affect him in his first season in the NFL, but still made a big enough impression when he finally got on the field that he's recently been named as the Bengals Wildcat quarterback this season. Like Harvin, Caldwell got reps taking the snap from center and running Wildcat style plays in Meyer's scheme. Caldwell also is part of the Bengals main receiver group, ahead of last season's second rounder Jerome Simpson among others.

In Urban Meyer's four seasons in Gainesville, there have been five receivers drafted who played in his offense. Based on the reviews for the most recent three as well as the talent he and his staff have brought in, there should be many more. Pretty soon, the "they won't get you ready for the league" sales pitch to recruits will sound just as bright as the "Meyer's offense can't work in the SEC" rhetoric of three years ago.


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