Harden wasn't consensus #3. Everybody thought that was a reach and were calling him a bust (including Bill Simmons) until a yr and a half in after the Green trade when he started to show talent. People thought they should have gone Tyreke Evans(who won R.O.Y) or Stephen Curry, until it became clear Harden just needed the opportunity and both of the 2 previous had flaws in their own game and in potentially meshing with Westbrook and Durant
I'm not sure if you follow cbb, actually I'm fairly certain you don't with this response. Harden was a top 5 player in that draft, he was a 1st team all american and Pac10 player of the year as a soph. He was one of the only players people felt comfortable knowing he would be able to play well at this level. Reke people wondered whether he was a 1 or a 2 and if he could play off the ball. Steph people wondered whether he could play the 1, could he get his shot off, and was he strong enough to play at this level. He was dominant ASU, definitely not a reach AT ALL.