FanPost

Marvin Harrison Jr. draft profile

Per many draft boards, the best player in the 2024 draft is Ohio State WR, Marvin Harrison Jr. Unless the Rams pulled off a massive trade or Harrison made a shocking decision and stayed in school another year, odds are virtually zero that he'll end up being a Ram. Should the Rams try to trade up for him, even at great cost? If he's as good as advertised, we might be talking about a future first ballot Hall of Famer. How much would be too much to pay to acquire such a talent?

Marvin Harrison Sr. was a HOF receiver with the Colts, playing with Peyton Manning. He was under 6 feet tall and 181 pounds, much smaller than his son, but he was super fast, very quick and had great hands. In his prime, he had 4 straight seasons with at least 100 catches, including a mind boggling 143 receptions in 2002. Cooper Kupp had 145 catches in 2021, but he also benefitted from a 17 game schedule instead of 16 games. That was the only year CK had at least 100 catches.

Background

Name: Marvin Harrison Jr. Turns 22 years old in August of 2024.

School: Ohio State. True junior. Finance major.

Size: Listed 6'4'' tall, 205 pounds.

4 star recruit from Philadelphia, PA. Enrolled in January of 2021. Played behind Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave and Jaxon Smith-Njigba in 2021. In the first game of 2022, Jaxon Smith-Njigba got injured and he missed most of the season. Harrison and Emeka Egbuka picked up the slack and finished with similar receiving stats. In 2023, Egbuka got injured and missed multiple games. He's only had 451 receiving yards this year. Harrison was a unanimous 1st team All American in 2022. After playing with CJ Stroud in 2022, his QB was Kyle McCord (his HS teammate) in 2023.

Right ankle injury in 2nd game of 2022. Right ankle injury in 4th game of 2022, Harrison said it was more severe than the one in 2022. Concussion in CFP game vs Georgia in 2022. Left shoulder injury vs Indiana in 2023. Appeared to be shaken up after hard landing vs Wisconsin in 2023.

2021: 11-139-3

2022 (13 games): 77-1,263-14

2023 (12 games): 67-1,211-14

Josh Edwards (CBSSports) 1st overall prospect

Drafttek 2nd overall

PFF board 2nd overall

PFN board 1st overall (all 3 of their analysts rank him 1st overall)

Steve Shoup 3rd overall

NFLMDD 1st overall

BuffaloFambase 1st overall

Somewhat quiet and reserved personality. Professional answers to interview questions.

Said that he wants to run 4.38 seconds in the 40, but I wonder if that is just a reference to his dad for family bragging rights. His ESPN recruiting profile listed his 40 time at 4.60 seconds and his weight at 185 pounds. So, he'd have to be considerably faster than he was in HS to run sub 4.4 seconds. SI's recruiting profile said that he had "just enough long speed" to be a 3 level threat. So, coming out of HS, he wasn't considered to be a speed merchant.

Strengths

Ideal size for an outside NFL receiver. Good length to fight off jams. Able to reach up over the top of CBs to make catches. Plays through contact. Thinner in 2021, looks like he worked on his body to add muscle and get stronger.

NFL level route running ability. Can carve up CBs with his route running. Subtle angle changes, body leans, jab steps and nods. Sets up double moves. Can stick foot in ground and sink hips to snap off routes and sit down vs coverage. Makes plays at all 3 levels of the field. A smooth operator.

Good detail in how he crafts routes. Understands how to manipulate the leverage of the CB, has them on a string. Quick feet, varied release moves. Good route tempo, sufficient speed coming off the line. Quick hands to fend off jams.

Good fundamental catching technique, can properly frame the ball with his hands. Able to extend and catch ball away from his body. Size for solid effective catch radius. Able to adjust to some off target passes. Many acrobatic catches on his highlight tape.

Maintains excellent concentration on the ball. Tracks the ball well in the air. Able to make over the shoulder basket catches.

Draws penalties at the top of the route, CBs grab him, knowing they are beaten, trying to prevent separation.

Adequate ability to dodge tackles with jukes and spin move.

Productive in big games, against OSU's best opponents and well regarded CB prospects, and in critical moments late in games. Delivered in the clutch.

Aggressive and strong as a blocker most of the time, good size and length for blocking duties. Will run off CB on running plays by making it look like an actual route. Sound blocking angles.

Lined up on both left and right side, both outside and in the slot. Has WR position versatility.

Played on special teams in 2021 and had a tackle for a safety on the punt return unit.

His tape is difficult to evaluate, because he's played through ankle injuries for much of the last 2 seasons.

High floor. Bust potential is only due to being projected as one of the top picks in the draft. If you put him on the Rams, I think he'd instantly be a Day 1 starter.

Not a diva in personality.

Weaknesses

Linear build. Doesn't impose his size on opponents, not overly physical, more like a smaller WR in contested catch situations. Doesn't have an impressive win rate when he has to fight for the ball. Lacks ideal play strength to win in red zone and establish air space. Doesn't use his size well to create separation.

On outside releases, too easily allows CBs to force him up against the sideline, not giving the QB much room to place the ball.

Not an explosive or sudden runner after the catch. Doesn't appear to have great speed. Not a big YAC threat, average burst and run strength with the ball. Doesn't break many tackles.

Average change of direction, doesn't explode out of breaks. Loses speed making moves and changing directions.

Doesn't have elite hands. Has some sloppy double catches. The ball isn't always immediately secure in his hand, sometimes it is crooked or loose and he's pinning it to his body. Hand eye coordination not special. Ball came out of his hands when he hit the ground. Dropped a low pass. Hands are not strong at catch point. Had alligator arms on a pass.

Not a confident hands catcher. Allows balls to come into his body that he could catch with his hands, then tuck away, preferring to trap them into his chest instead.

Several plays on his tape that I'd characterize as "semi-drops", where the catch isn't easy, but the ball bounces off his hands.

Doesn't come back towards the QB to attack the ball and defend the catch point. Allows CBs to reach around him and contest or deflect the ball.

Occasionally late to punch vs jam, delaying him getting off line.

Not a leaper, doesn't have elite vertical ability. Body control and footwork near the boundary is pretty good, but not elite.

Doesn't strike me as an alpha dog.

Carries the ball in his right hand, doesn't transfer it to his left even when he has plenty of time and space to do so.

Inconsistent effort on blocks. Sometimes takes plays off when blocking. Hands not always inside the frame of the defender.

Doesn't play to the whistle, sometimes relaxes and eases up before the play is over.

I feel he's most dangerous when used in the slot WR. Even though he's tall, I wonder if he'll end up playing quite a bit inside in the NFL.

Draft Grade and Pro Comp

1st round grade (not top 10.) (Michael Pittman Jr., Early 2nd round 2020, Colts, USC)

Pittman played with Carson Wentz in 2021 and had 88 catches for 1,082 yards and 6 TDs. He's on pace to eclipse those numbers in 2023. If he continues his current rate, he'll have 117 catches for 1,212 yards and 5 TDs. A pretty amazing season, considering that almost all of it would be with a backup QB, Gardner Minshew, starting, and an OL that is currently 28th in pass block win rate. If you put those stats in 2022, he'd rank 3rd in catches and 9th in yardage. Michael Pittman Jr. is a very good player. On the other hand, let's say that the Colts had a moment of madness and offered Pittman to the Rams in a trade. How many 1st round picks would you be willing to package to acquire him from them? If the answer isn't at least 3, that's my point.

Why did I not give Harrison a top 10 overall draft grade? The 2022 NFL draft was not considered to be particularly strong at the top. Travon Walker and Aidan Hutchinson were not the transcendent prospects you normally would see occupying the 1st and 2nd overall slots. In that draft, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave were the 10th and 11th overall picks, respectively. Jameson Williams was taken 12th, making it 3 straight Ohio State WRs. If Wilson, Olave and Harrison were all in the same draft, my opinion is that Harrison grades 3rd out of that group. That means that he'd go 12th overall in that "weak" 2022 draft.

Stated another way, I don't consider Harrison to be as good a WR prospect as guys like AJ Green and Julio Jones. My sense is that Harrison very well could be one of the 10 best prospects in the 2024 draft. I don't think that this is a spectacular WR class, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's the best WR. Don't get me wrong and think that I'm saying he should fall out of the top 10. What I'm trying to say is that I don't think that the Rams should sell the farm to try to acquire the right to draft Harrison. I don't view Harrison as a "generational level" WR that is going to take the NFL by storm and rewrite record books.