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Mel Kiper Jr. believes Marvin Harrison Jr. could be top-three pick in 2024 NFL Draft

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Mel Kiper Jr. believes Marvin Harrison Jr. could be top-three pick in 2024 NFL Draft

COLUMBUS — Marvin Harrison Jr. is arguably the best wide receiver in college football. And, this time next year, the Ohio State star has the chance to become the highest-draft wideout since NFL Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson Jr. went No. 2 overall to the Detroit Lions in 2007.

Longtime ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes it’s possible.

“I think when you look at Marvin Harrison Jr., you didn’t know how great he was until this year. You found out quickly,” Kiper said during ESPN’s Day Three of NFL Draft coverage this weekend.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba out with a hamstring, C.J. Stroud needs that go-to guy. All year, it was Marvin Harrison Jr. And, ironically, it was Marvin Harrison Jr.’s injury in that game against Georgia — when he went down, their offense stalled, and their offense had issues. I think they win that game if Marvin Harrison Jr.’s healthy. They may move on to win a national title. He’s that valuable.”

Before Harrison’s concussion late in the third quarter of the Peach Bowl against top-ranked Georgia, he piled up five catches for 106 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He played a significant part in the Buckeyes entering the fourth quarter of the College Football Playoff semifinal with a 14-point lead.

Without Harrison on the field for the final frame, Ohio State saw that two-score advantage disappear. The Buckeyes scored just three points and totaled only 97 yards in the fourth quarter of their heartbreaking 42-41 defeat to the eventual repeat national champs.

Harrison finished the year with 77 catches and 1,263 receiving yards, not to mention 14 receiving touchdowns, which were good for fourth nationally.

Marvin Harrison Jr. is UNREAL

What a grab this was by the @OhioStateFB WR

— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 12, 2022

Standing 6-foot-4, 205-pounds, Harrison has a catch radius that makes NFL scouts salivate. Harrison didn’t drop a pass the first 11 games of the 2022 season. He was tied for fourth among all FBS wideouts with 18 contested catches, according to Pro Football Focus. Of that group, Harrison was the only receiver with a contested catch rate above 53% (Harrison caught 18-of-30, or 60% of such targets).

“He’s critical to that offense,” Kiper said. “He’s a big-time player, as his father was — Marvin Harrison coming out of Syracuse back in the day.

“So Marvin Harrison Jr. could be the second or third overall pick next year in the 2024 NFL Draft.”

That’s in line with PFF’s way-too-early 2024 mock draft, which has Harrison going No. 2 overall to the Arizona Cardinals, who conceivably could have the top-two picks next year.

Some early reactions I gathered from NFL coaches and personnel guys who were at Ohio State Pro Day, on WR Marvin Harrison Jr. …

“Really impressive.”
“Unfortunately not draft eligible.”
“He looked like a dude.”

— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 22, 2023

Harrison has been on the NFL’s radar for a while now, but he gave a horde of league personnel a first-hand look at his skill set during the Buckeyes’ Pro Day back in March. Harrison participated in Stroud’s throwing session to help his quarterback and, simultaneously, gain experience for the pre-draft event.

Harrison wowed, just as he did all season.

He’ll have a chance to continue building out his resume this year. It’s possible he’ll be doing it with his old high school quarterback throwing to him. Kyle McCord, Harrison’s classmate and partner-in-crime on the gridiron at St. Joe’s Prep in Philadelphia, is competing for the starting job under center.

McCord and Harrison teamed up for three state titles in high school, helping each other set Philadelphia Catholic League records in the process.

If McCord is indeed the starter and his connection with Harrison proves similarly fruitful at the college level, Harrison should remain on track to make Kiper’s early projection a reality.

The post Mel Kiper Jr. believes Marvin Harrison Jr. could be top-three pick in 2024 NFL Draft appeared first on On3.

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