Marvin Harrison Jr. - WR - Ohio State
Marvin Harrison Jr. has been considered an elite-level talent who was bound for an early declaration to the NFL since his sophomore year of college. He’s got the legacy factor tied to his name as he is the son of former Indianapolis Colts and Hall of Fame wide receiver, Marvin Harrison. But it’s not just the name value that drives up Harrison’s draft stock, it’s just as much what he’s done on the field.
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 205 lbs
40-yard dash: N/A
3-cone drill: N/A
20-yard shuttle: N/A
Vertical Jump: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A
Bench Press: N/A
*age is at the start of player’s rookie year
While the name value has always driven headlines since he was a recruit coming out of high school, it didn’t seem to greatly inflate his recruiting ranking. He was of course still highly rated as a mid-four-star recruit – 21st wide receiver in the nation per 247Sports and the 14th wide receiver in the nation per the 247Sports Composite ranks. Despite that, there is little doubt that Harrison Jr. will be the first wide receiver taken in this draft class; over the other wide receivers that were ranked above him in his recruiting class including names like Troy Franklin, Brian Thomas Jr., Xavier Worthy, and Malik Nabers.
As a true freshman, Harrison Jr. didn’t get a lot of run until the bowl game where both Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave opted out and Jaxon Smith-Njigba went nuclear for 347 yards and 3 touchdowns. But in that game, Harrison went for 71 yards and caught 3 touchdowns of his own. Going into his sophomore season Jaxon Smith-Njigba was supposed to be the guy but sat out a majority of the season due to injuries. That allowed both Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka to go on to be one of the most lethal receiving duos in the league with CJ Stroud at the helm. Harrison Jr. led the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns (77-1263-14) and posted a 32.72% weighted dominator rating.
Unfortunately, as a true junior, the whole Buckeyes offense took a step back as CJ Stroud went off to the NFL. The team was left to be run through Kyle McCord and it was just not the same as Harrison Jr. had to put the team on his back multiple times to pull them through games. He was truly the difference between wins and losses in 2023 as he once again led the team in every major receiving statistic and improved his weighted dominator rating to 38.47%. While it looked like the whole Buckeyes team was going back to Ohio State to run it back one more time, Harrison’s presumed draft capital was just too high for him to jeopardize that for another year of college. So, he will be an early declare and presumed top 10 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Marvin Harrison Jr. has an impressive size to profile as an alpha outside wide receiver, standing at 6’4” and 205 lbs. And he plays into that size well, knowing how to utilize his leverage and frame to box out defenders inside or outside and shield the catch point. And for a receiver that long, he has impeccable body control that was put on display week in and week out with highlight-reel catches constantly.
But it’s not just the physical gifts that make Marvin Harrison Jr. this elite receiver prospect. He is also a route-running technician as he has a great release at the line of scrimmage and can stack DBs to throw them off balance. While his speed isn’t considered dynamic, he utilizes impeccable speed control within his routes to accelerate or decelerate to create just enough separation that allows him to open up a catch window. Pair that speed control with his near-perfect ball tracking, and you have an incredibly effective deep threat to add to a player that is already a threat everywhere else on the field.
No prospect is perfect, even a prospect as elite as Marvin Harrison Jr. However, one does have to get very particular and nitpicky when pulling out said flaws in an elite-level prospect. And for Harrison, that is just the case.
While he displayed great hands and elite body control, there were the occasional tough catches that would’ve been nice to see a player of Harrison’s talent level come down with. His blocking effort stands to be improved as well. He is much more of a get what’s in front of you type of receiver after the catch, not consistently creating those extra yards with elusiveness or physicality. And he did struggle against some more physical corners, specifically in the Notre Dame game in 2023.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Top 5 Pick
It is hard to imagine Marvin Harrison Jr. making it out of the top 5 picks as the top of this draft is loaded with teams that need wide receiver help. If the Bears stick around and don’t take Caleb Williams, I think Harrison could be at least in the conversation as they build around Justin Fields, get a real compliment to DJ Moore, and probably develop Harrison into the WR1 for the team. The Patriots with the third pick are desperate for pass catchers as well. The Cardinals have Michael Wilson who showed some flashes as a rookie, but otherwise, they’re receiving room is a wasteland as Marquise Brown is an unrestricted free agent. And to round out the top 5, the Chargers could decide to cut their losses on Quentin Johnston or give him more time to develop as Keenan Allen is aging and Mike Williams also hits age 30 on the last year of his contract.
Overall, there’s not a bad landing spot really for Marvin Harrison Jr. He has the potential to be the best wide receiver in the league and there are few teams that will pass on him in this draft. Of the options listed above though, the Cardinals and Chargers have the most stable quarterback positions. But maybe the Bears find some way to get Caleb Williams and Marvin Harrison Jr. which wouldn’t be the worst outcome either.