Cardinals draft Marvin Harrison Jr.: How he fits, pick grade and scouting intel

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The Arizona Cardinals selected Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. with the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft.

Harrison, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Indianapolis Colts great, Marvin Harrison Sr., was widely considered the top receiver prospect in this year’s class after posting back-to-back 1,200-yard, 14-touchdown seasons during his final two years at Ohio State.

He was the first receiver in Ohio State history with multiple 1,000-yard receiving seasons and set the school record with 15 100-yard receiving games.

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‘The Beast’ breakdown

Harrison ranked No. 2 in Dane Brugler’s Top 300 big board. Here’s what Brugler had to say about him in his annual NFL Draft guide:

“A tall, lean target with the long speed and short-area agility of a smaller player, Harrison displays controlled fluidity in his releases/routes, which allows him to create separation with complex breaks, stem angles and subtle head/body fakes. Overall, Harrison has dominant receiving traits and can win from anywhere on the field because of his athletic gifts, route savvy and adjustment/finishing skills at the catch point. He is among the best receiving prospects to enter the NFL in recent memory, and he has the dedication to his craft to be a playmaking No. 1 NFL receiver and future All-Pro.”

Coaching intel

What an anonymous coach had to say about Harrison in Bruce Feldman’s mock draft:

“He was such a problem for us. They were moving him around. He was as good as the hype. He’s got the explosion, a big catch radius. He separated well. He makes catches in traffic. He was bigger than I thought.”

Why he’s a first-round pick

Harrison was one of the four Heisman Trophy finalists after his final season at Ohio State. He racked up numerous awards, including the Biletnikoff Award in 2023. He’s Ohio State’s only two-time All-America receiver and first to record multiple 1,000-yard seasons.

How he fits

Harrison could not fit better. The Cardinals entered the offseason in desperate need of a No. 1 receiver, someone who would strike fear in opposing defenses. Last year the Cardinals’ production at the receiver position ranked near the bottom of the NFL. Quarterback Kyler Murray has a trustworthy running back in James Conner and an emerging tight end in Trey McBride. What he lacked was a dynamic receiver. Harrison is athletic and explosive. He has great hands and can make difficult catches look easy. Plus, as the son of Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison, he has football in his blood. Projecting stars out of the draft is tricky, but Harrison looks the part.

Rookie impact

Head coach Jonathan Gannon made it clear last year that he would not hesitate to play rookies, and he didn’t. But that’s not much of a question here. Harrison didn’t work out at the scouting combine or at a pro day, choosing instead to focus and prepare for his first NFL season. He should be ready to play a major role in Drew Petzing’s offense from Day 1.

Come back shortly for more analysis of the Harrison pick.

(Photo: Rich Schultz / Getty Images)

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