CARDINALS CORNER

ESPN’s Matt Miller: Marvin Harrison Jr. is a ‘Day 1’ NFL wide receiver

Feb 2, 2024, 5:20 PM

Marvin Harrison Jr. celebrates a touchdown...

Marvin Harrison Jr. #18 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates his first quarter touchdown with teammate Donovan Jackson #74 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Ohio Stadium on November 11, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images)

Most places you turn this mock draft season, Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. has been linked to the Arizona Cardinals’ No. 4 pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

Just take a look at the Arizona Sports Mock Draft Tracker, where Harrison reigns supreme as the fourth overall pick in more than half (37) of the 63 mock drafts tallied as of Friday. The next closest player is Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu (10).

In ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller’s eyes, you can’t go wrong with taking an instant-impact wide receiver like Harrison. As he told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Thursday, “(Harrison) has that type of innate ability and I think the drive to be great.”

“To be 6-foot-4 and have the body control that he has, it’s unexpected,” Miller added. “I think when people hear ‘Marvin Harrison’ they picture his dad, who was 6-foot-1, 200 pounds. He’s 6-foot-4, 215 pounds and he plays with a craftiness that you don’t expect at that size.

“There are things that he needs to get better at. This is not a flawless prospect. There are some focus drops. He could be a little bit tougher through contact. But that’s coachable, that’s fixable and I think you’re getting a Day 1, true, top-tier wide receiver. If we’re talking next year at the Senior Bowl and saying, ‘Marvin Harrison Jr. looks like a top-5 NFL wide receiver’ I would believe it.”

Harrison’s numbers speak for themselves. After getting his feet wet in 2021 — 11 catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns — the Buckeye exploded with back-to-back seasons (25 total games) of at least 1,211 yards, 67 catches and 14 touchdowns.

He also continued to stretch the field throughout his college career, watching his yards per reception hit 12.6, 16.4 and 18.1 across three seasons at Ohio State.

And having a Hall of Fame wide receiver as a father in Marvin Harrison Sr. definitely has it benefits.

Is it Marvin Harrison Jr. or bust when it comes to Arizona Cardinals’ No. 4 overall in 2024 NFL Draft?

Landing a top-tier wideout is among the top priorities this offseason for the Cardinals.

It’s far from the only need, though, with cornerback, pass rusher and both sides of the line also high up on the list.

At least when it comes to pass-rushing, Miller doesn’t see Arizona using the fourth overall pick in that area.

“Not in my opinion. … If you’re going to make an argument for anyone, it’s (Alabama’s Dallas Turner), because the traits and the tools,” Miller said. “Darius Robinson from Missouri, who is going to be a late first-round pick, has had a tremendous week here. He’s 290 pounds but he plays off-the-ball pass rusher. He’s crazy to watch.

“UCLA’s Laiatu Latu … is someone that’s top-15 pick potential. … I think we’re going to see pass rushers go more in the teens.”

While going with a pass rusher with the No. 4 pick likely isn’t in the cards for Arizona, going that route with its second first-round pick at No. 27 isn’t out of the question by any means.

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