Marvin Harrison Jr. focused on rest, rookie year rather than draft process

Mar 21, 2024, 12:04 PM | Updated: 2:13 pm

For the second time in as many months, top wide receiver prospect Marvin Harrison Jr. sat out while others participated in pre-NFL Draft evaluations.

First, it was the NFL Draft Combine in February. Then it was Ohio State’s pro day on Wednesday.

But while others are focusing on April’s draft, Harrison is preparing for his rookie season and beyond under the tutelage of Hall of Famer and father Marvin Harrison.

For the first time this draft-prep season, the duo clarified their reasoning behind taking a step back.

“It’s been a very restful process,” Marvin Harrison Sr. told ESPN’s Matt Miller during Ohio State’s pro day. “Something we took into consideration from Day 1 was, how are we going to prepare for the 2024 NFL season? I sat down and talked to junior and I said, ‘Listen, you can do one of two things. You can put yourself in the realm of an NFL player now and prepare for the future or you can get ready to do things that everyone else is doing.’

“When I explained it to him, we said, ‘Look, when you’re a rookie coming in this league after you’ve been playing 3-4 years of college football, it’s kind of tough to maintain and be strong and have a great rookie season. So, I say if we just rest just like any other player or NFL receiver is doing right now in January and February, I think it will pay off for you more later on down the line.'”

The young Harrison, who is coming off back-to-back seasons of at least 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns, added he’s working with the same trainers he’s had throughout his college career and is “getting stronger, faster and like my dad said, resting a lot, too. It’s been a very fun process though.”

Arizona Cardinals respect Marvin Harrison Jr.’s draft-process decisions

He may not be giving NFL teams anymore to go off of ahead of the draft, but according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the nine franchises Harrison met with were fine with the wide receiver skipping combine and pro day workouts.

One of those nine teams were the Arizona Cardinals.

“All this spring prep and draft prep, I think that’s really a personal decision that players have to make,” Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort said Wednesday. “I’m a big fan of the more good information we can have in the draft process, the better.

“But it’s not going to be the first time that a player doesn’t check off every box for the spring process. It won’t be the last time. In Marvin’s case, it’s his decision in what he thought was best for him. We respect that and we’ll continue our evaluation process not only on him but on every draft prospect. We’ll evaluate the best we can with the information that we have.”

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