3 QBs taken before Cardinals lands them Marvin Harrison Jr. in ESPN mock draft

Jan 10, 2024, 10:58 AM

Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr....

Marvin Harrison Jr. #18 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts prior to a game against the Missouri Tigers during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Another day, another Marvin Harrison Jr. to the Arizona Cardinals prediction.

The star wideout coming out of Ohio State has been a favorite No. 4 pick by the Cardinals in most mock drafts around the internet. That prediction was yet again reinforced on Wednesday by ESPN’s Jordan Reid.

The NFL Draft analyst forecasts Harrison to fall to the Cardinals.

If we were playing a game of matchmaker, the prospect-to-team fit that makes the most sense of any first-round pick is Harrison to the Cardinals. Quarterback Kyler Murray won’t hesitate to throw the ball up to his receivers in one-on-one situations, and Harrison — my top-ranked player in this class — is exactly what’s needed on a roster that’s still devoid of high-end talent. Plus, Marquise Brown is a free agent and might not be back.

Harrison’s combination of hands, body control and route running make him the clear best receiver in a loaded group, and he has a chance to quickly become a top-10 target at the next level. He is coming off back-to-back seasons with 14 touchdowns and more than 1,200 yards at Ohio State.

How does Marvin Harrison Jr. get to the Cardinals?

Reid’s mock draft has three quarterbacks selected with the first three picks: USC’s Caleb Williams to the Chicago Bears, supposing they get rid of Justin Fields; North Carolina’s Drake Maye to the Washington Commanders, another common prediction; and LSU’s Jayden Daniels to New England.

Daniels, the Arizona State transfer who broke out at LSU, has been predicted all over the top 10, but Reid thinks the Patriots will cash in on the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner.

Three quarterbacks taken with the first three picks is a sequence that has only happened twice in the past 25 years, in 1999 and most recently 2021.

This phenomenon would leave the Cardinals no choice but to draft the best skill position player on the board, hence Harrison coming to Arizona.

The last time the Cardinals picked a wide receiver in the top five? Larry Fitzgerald, who was the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.

In Reid’s mock draft, two other wide receivers are off the board with the fifth and sixth picks, held by the Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants, respectively. LSU’s Malik Nabers would be on his way to LA to form a tandem with Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, while Washington’s Rome Odunze would join a project in the Giants.

Three wide receivers have been selected in the top 10 before. In fact, it’s happened twice in the last 10 years.

2021 had Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith. That has seemed to work out pretty well so far.

The 2017 class … not so much. Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross as a group didn’t live up to their top 10 potential.

Reid’s mock draft differs in opinion from most other mock drafts, obviously. Three quarterbacks and three wide receivers in the first six picks are unheard of.

What about the Chargers taking Georgia tight end Brock Bowers or the Giants opting to get another offensive lineman? Is there a chance the Bears or Patriots don’t pick a quarterback?

But his prediction of “Maserati Marv” going to the Cardinals isn’t unique. It just makes sense.

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