College Football

Marvin Harrison Jr. Expected to be Top 5 Pick in 2024 NFL Draft

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Marvin Harrison Jr., star wide receiver for the Ohio State Buckeyes, has emerged as one of the top prospects for the 2024 NFL draft. Many experts already have Harrison projected as a top 5 draft pick next year.

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The 21-year old receiver has been dominant since taking over as Ohio State’s #1 target in 2022. After a freshman season relegated to a secondary role behind Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, Harrison broke out last year with 77 catches for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns. His combination of size at 6’4″, speed, precise route running, and reliable hands have scouts drooling over his NFL potential.

Physical Profile Suggests Future NFL Stardom

Harrison possesses an ideal frame for an elite NFL receiver. At 6’4″ and 205 pounds, he has the size to overwhelm smaller cornerbacks. His height gives him a massive catch radius, while his length allows him to snatch passes away from his body.

Most impressively, Harrison has indicated he expects to run a blazing 40 yard dash in the 4.3 range at the NFL Combine next year. For a receiver his size, that olympic-level speed suggests Harrison will be nearly impossible to defend at the next level. If he hits that mark, he could end up being the highest drafted receiver since Calvin Johnson went 2nd overall in 2007.

Following in His Father’s Footsteps

Marvin Harrison Jr. has drawn comparisons to his father, former Indianapolis Colts great Marvin Harrison, throughout his football career. The elder Harrison was one of the NFL’s most productive and consistent receivers from 1996-2008, making 8 Pro Bowls and winning a Super Bowl with the Colts.

Like his son, Harrison Sr. possessed a lean frame at 6’0″ and 185 pounds in his playing days. He emerged as one of the league’s elite route runners with his quickness, footwork and attention to detail. Harrison Jr. has displayed many of the same traits at Ohio State, showcasing advanced technical skills at a young age.

According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Harrison Jr. recently put up some absurd numbers in training that prove he possesses freakish athleticism as well. At 6’4″ and 205 pounds, Harrison Jr. bench pressed 380 pounds, did 20 reps at 225 pounds, and squatted 500 pounds. He also posted a 10’8″ broad jump and a blistering top speed of 23.5 mph.

Those workout numbers back up Harrison’s confidence that he can run a sub-4.4 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. While he doesn’t have his father’s quick-twitch explosiveness, Harrison Jr. combines size, strength and speed at an elite level. All indications are that Marvin Harrison Jr. is set to carry on the family legacy as a future NFL superstar receiver.

Dominant Production at Ohio State

While his physical talents are intriguing, Harrison has also shown elite production against top college competition in the Big Ten. He emerged as Ohio State’s clear #1 receiver as a sophomore, a rarity for the program.

Harrison gained over 100 receiving yards in 7 games last season, carrying the Buckeyes passing attack. He saved his best for Ohio State’s biggest games, putting up season highs of 10 catches for 185 yards against Penn State and 11 catches for 187 yards against arch rival Michigan. Harrison also excelled in the College Football Playoff semi-final against Georgia, catching 5 passes for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns in the first half before being knocked out of the game with a concussion.

Early Entrant to 2024 NFL Draft Likely

Despite having two years of NCAA eligibility remaining, Harrison is widely expected to enter the 2024 draft rather than return to Columbus for his senior season. At this point, he has little left to prove at the college level.

Barring injury, Harrison should be no lower than the 3rd wide receiver drafted next year behind current LSU star Kayshon Boutte. Most experts have him solidly in the mix as the potential WR1 of the class. He is projected ahead of Clemson’s Jordan Addison and emergence Alabama target Juriah Edwards among top receivers available. Teams like the Texans, Cardinals, and Jets will likely have their eyes on Harrison early in the 1st round.

If Harrison performs up to expectations, he is on track to be the highest drafted Ohio State receiver since Joey Galloway went 8th overall in 1995. For a Buckeye program known for producing NFL wideouts, Harrison may end up being the cream of the crop. His combination of size, athleticism and polish suggest a future All-Pro is in the making.

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