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.

Measurables

Height: 6′ 3″

Weight: 209 lbs

Age: 22

40-yard dash: DNP

3-cone drill: DNP

20-yard shuttle: DNP

Vertical Jump: DNP

Broad Jump: DNP

Bench Press: DNP

*age is at the start of player’s rookie year

College Stats

Receiving & Rushing Table
ReceivingRushingScrimmage
YearSchoolConfClassPosGRecYdsAvgTDAttYdsAvgTDPlaysYdsAvgTD
*2021Ohio StateBig TenFRWR131113912.630001113912.63
*2022Ohio StateBig TenSO1377126316.41423216.0079129516.414
*2023Ohio StateBig TenJRWR1267121118.11422613.0169123717.915
CareerOhio State155261316.93145814.51159267116.832
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 1/22/2024.

Notable Headlines

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.

Scouting Report

Positives

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.

Negatives

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

Landing Spots

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. The Patriots with the third pick are desperate for pass catchers. 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 lost both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams this offseason leaving Joshua Palmer and Quentin Johnston as their leading receivers.

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. And with the Bears moving Fields and signing Keenan Allen, it seems like all signs are pointing for them to take Caleb Williams at the 1.01 and then defense with their 9th overall pick.

Post Draft Analysis

Arizona Cardinals – Round 1, Pick 4

Landing Spot

The Arizona Cardinals’ 2023 season was one to forget as Josh Dobbs led them for the first part of the year until Kyler Murray returned and continued to work his way back to full health. But not only did the quarterback room have injuries and turnover, the wide receiver room left some to be desired as Marquise Brown also dealt with nagging injuries all season leaving them to rely on rookie Michael Wilson, Rondale Moore, and Greg Dortch. Although, the silver lining here is that it allowed Trey McBride to break out as he led the team in receptions and receiving yards.

Marquise Brown departed in free agency leaving the Cardinals with a void in the wide receiver room. So, it was no shock when they selected the top wide receiver in this draft class, Marvin Harrison Jr. with their first-round pick. Harrison Jr. is a player who has been deemed generational by a lot of analysts in the community. Harrison Jr. immediately becomes the most talented wide receiver in the receiving room and a top contender for Kyler Murray’s top target alongside Trey McBride.

Fantasy Impact

Marvin Harrison Jr. has a legitimate shot at 150 targets this season as the clear WR1 in this offense. His main competition for targets will be Trey McBride, but Harrison Jr. should be heavily incorporated into this offense from day 1. And he’s ready to do just that as an already polished receiver who is ready for the NFL. His ceiling is off the charts and has a chance to be a top target just like DeAndre Hopkins was just a few years ago. Michael Wilson and Greg Dortch will fit their role this season and the Cardinals will likely continue to address the position in future drafts. But again, Marvin Harrison Jr. is the WR1 in this offense.

For Redraft, Harrison Jr. is a great early to mid-round target as he has a clear path to targets and the talent to take advantage of those targets. As for dynasty, he’s likely the first skill position player off the board, and for good reason. He can be a building block to build a true dynasty roster around for years to come.

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