The top wide receiver in the nation heading into the 2023 college football season is undoubtedly Marvin Harrison Jr. from Ohio State. Harrison is coming off a massive sophomore season for the Buckeyes, racking up 1,295 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2022.
He is widely regarded as a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but could he potentially be drafted as high as No. 2?
Marvin Harrison Sr. was a first-round pick by the Indianapolis Colts during the 1996 NFL Draft and was selected at No. 19 overall. Harrison racked up 2,728 and 20 touchdowns playing with Donovan McNabb at Syracuse.
BetOhio.com – your source for Ohio sportsbooks – decided to analyze Harrison’s draft potential and compare his college career to that of his father.
Here is a look at the numbers:
Marvin Harrison Sr. and Jr. Stats
As long as Harrison Jr. can match the numbers that he put up last season, he should be able to best his Dad in career statistics (in one fewer season) and should be a much higher draft pick.
And why wouldn’t he match last year’s stats? Harrison will be the main receiver on another high-octane Buckeyes team that is way up the odds boards of sports betting apps in Ohio.
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Where Will Harrison Be Drafted?
Not only does Marvin Harrison Jr. have a chance to be the more productive college player in fewer games than his father, he also is a much bigger and more athletic receiver.
Marvin Harrison was listed at 6-feet, 185 pounds during most of his college career. He did not run a 40-yard dash and many believe that he played at less than 180 pounds in the NFL. His son, though, is the much bigger, more athletic player as Harrison Jr. measures in at 6-4, 205 pounds and runs in the 4.4s. He is a special athlete but is incredibly polished as a receiver, as well.
Just how high could Marvin Harrison Jr. go in the 2024 NFL Draft? There is a good chance that he could be the first non-quarterback off the board next April. According to NFLMockDraftDatabase.com, Harrison is the No. 2 ranked player in the 2024 NFL Draft by consensus rankings. No publication has him ranked outside of their top five players for next year’s draft (since May 1).
In Todd McShay’s first 2024 ESPN mock draft, he had Harrison Jr. going at No. 2 to the Arizona Cardinals. That has been a common selection for early mock drafters as many believe the Cardinals could own two picks inside of the top five next year (their own selection plus Houston’s first-round pick).
It’s clear that, going into the college football season, the expectation is that Harrison Jr. will be a top-five selection in next year’s draft. And there is a decent chance he winds up being the No. 2 pick in the draft, only behind USC QB Caleb Williams. If Williams or Drake Maye (North Carolina) were to have down seasons, there is a chance that he could slide into the No. 1 spot, although that seems very unlikely considering the value of quarterbacks in the NFL.
That bias toward quarterbacks is even more pronounced in future Heisman Trophy odds. Harrison is the highest non-QB on the board, but there are 14 QBs ahead of him at FanDuel Ohio. Even the presumed starter at Ohio State, Kyle McCord, is above him. McCord, who was Harrison’s quarterback in high school at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, has had little experience with the Buckeyes.
Given all that, being drafted No. 2 would be impressive. There have only been a handful of receivers to be picked at that spot. The last receiver to be drafted at No. 2 overall was Calvin Johnson during the 2007 NFL Draft. While Harrison Jr. might not be as physically gifted as Johnson, they are in the same conversation in terms of prospects. He’s that highly regarded among NFL circles and draftniks.
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