RENTON — Percy Harvin was listed as a full participant in Seattle’s practice Thursday, his most significant step yet toward making his Seahawks debut Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
And assuming he does play when the Seahawks and Vikings kick off at 1:25 p.m. at CenturyLink Field, he’ll also begin to more clearly define the perception of Seattle’s 2013 draft class.
Harvin was acquired from Minnesota for Seattle’s 2013 first-round pick, as well as a 2013 seventh-rounder and a 2014 third-rounder.
“We don’t want to forget that the exciting part of this draft is that we really do think that Percy Harvin is our first-round pick,’’ Seattle coach Pete Carroll said on draft day.
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Rob Rang, a Senior NFL Draft Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, says any long-term assessment of Seattle’s 2013 class will unquestionably focus on Harvin.
“If I had to give their class a letter grade right now it would be an incomplete because Percy Harvin is the first-round pick, and we haven’t seen him yet,’’ Rang said.
Other draft analysts, though, have weighed in a little more definitively with early overviews. NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, for one, recently rated Seattle as among three teams getting the least impact from their draft class.
Indeed, just one of 11 players drafted by Seattle in April has started a game this season, and that was due to injury. Right tackle Michael Bowie has filled in the past seven games for Breno Giacomini.
The Seattle brain trust’s comments during the draft foreshadowed this year’s rookies having a rough time getting playing time.
“We hope it’s really hard …’’ Carroll said. “The whole idea is to make this roster as competitive as possible.’’
With a roster filled with proven players returning at virtually every position — every offensive starter returned — Seattle ended up drafting for depth and future impact. Ultimately, five members of the 2013 class made the opening-day roster — Bowie, second-round running back Christine Michael, third-round defensive tackle Jordan Hill, fifth-round tight end Luke Willson and sixth-round running back Spencer Ware. Also making the opening roster were undrafted free-agent rookies Benson Mayowa (defensive end), Alvin Bailey (offensive linemen) and John Lotulelei (linebacker, since released).
Seattle has since added two other rookies to its roster who were on the practice squads of other teams — quarterback B.J. Daniels and offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann — to give it eight rookies on its active roster.
According to DraftMetrics.com, only Bowie has played enough snaps to be included among the top 50 rookies in playing time so far.
Willson is the only other rookie who has been a regular contributor, making 11 catches as the team’s No. 2 tight end.
Hill was targeted for a spot in the team’s regular rotation on the defensive line before suffering two separate biceps injuries that have held him to three games. Ware played in two games before landing on injured reserve.
Aside from Harvin, Michael could be viewed in the long-term as the other big key to the class. He was a preseason star, rushing for 201 yards in four games. Backing up Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin, though, has led to few opportunities in the regular season. Michael got his most significant action last week with 33 yards on eight attempts.
Michael understands. “It’s all part of the process,” he said. “You’ve got to learn from the guys that are in front of you.’’
The Seahawks host the Vikings on Sunday and get a look at the player Minnesota drafted with the first-round pick it got from Seattle — cornerback Xavier Rhodes of Florida State, who is seventh on the team in tackles with 33.