ESPN projects Marvin Harrison Jr., other Cardinals rookies to produce

May 26, 2024, 9:02 AM

Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr....

The Cardinals have earned high praise this offseason. Following the conclusion of the draft on April 29, multiple outlets critiqued the Cardinals 2024 draft class and it was nothing but positive reviews with Marvin Harrison Jr. leading off the selections.

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Mike Clay used his analytical model to take it a notch further. He predicted rookies’ stats and had four Cardinals finish in the top five in key statistical categories among rookies.

Cardinals’ Marvin Harrison Jr. projected to lead rookie WR class in receiving yards, TDs

Clay projects Harrison to lead a highly touted wide receiver class in receiving yards (1,121) and receiving touchdowns (6).

Right behind him is the Giants’ Malik Nabers (1,033 yards, 5 TDs), the Jaguars’ Brian Thomas Jr. (814 yards, 5 TDs), the Bills’ Keon Coleman (810 yards, 5 TDs) and the Bears’ Rome Odunze (803 yards, 6 TDs).

In his three-year career at Ohio State, Harrison notched 155 receptions for 2,613 yards (16.9 average) and 31 receiving touchdowns.

DL Darius Robinson predicted to finish 2nd in sacks amongst edge rushers 

Robinson is projected to finish with 5.2 sacks on the season, right behind the Colts’ Laiatu Latu (5.4).

In five seasons at Missouri, Robinson racked up 13 career sacks and 112 tackles, with 21 being for loss.

The second of two 2024 first-round picks, Robinson will join a Cardinals defensive line group led by free agent additions Justin Jones and Bilal Nichols.

CB Max Melton projected to finish 4th in interceptions fifth in tackles

Clay’s interception analytics project the Cardinals’ 2024 second-round pick to finish fourth in interceptions with 1.3.

That’s behind the Lions’ Terrion Arnold (1.3), the Giants’ Tyler Nubin (1.5) and the Packers’ Javon Bullard (1.7).

In his four years at Rutgers, Melton had eight career interceptions to go along with 22 passes defensed.

Clay’s model also projects him to finish fifth among rookies in tackles with 50 behind Arnold (58), Nubin (67), the Packers’ Edgerrin Cooper (68) and Bullard (71).

He finished his college career with 111 total tackles. Melton will join a cornerback room featuring fellow rookies Elijah Jones and Jaden Davis, free agent signing Sean Murphy-Bunting, second-year cornerbacks Garrett Williams, Starling Thomas V and Kei’Trel Clark, and fifth-year corner Bobby Price.

RB Trey Benson projected to finish 3rd in rushing 

Benson is projected to finish third in rushing with 507 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Leading the group, according to Clay’s model, is Commanders quarterback and former Sun Devil Jayden Daniels (577 yards, 5 TDs) and Panthers running back Jonathon Brooks (877 yards, 6 TDs).

Benson finished with back-to-back 900-plus-yard rushing seasons at Florida State after transferring from Oregon. He scored 23 touchdowns in that span.

The Cardinals’ 2024 third-round pick will look to split carries behind running back James Conner, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2023, along with late-season acquisition Michael Carter.

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ESPN projects Marvin Harrison Jr., other Cardinals rookies to produce