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Marvin Harrison Jr. NFL Draft
NFL Draft

How Many NFL Teams Would Marvin Harrison Jr. Be WR1 On Right Now?

  • Daniel Olinger
  • May 9, 2023
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Marvin Harrison Jr. isn’t a real human being. Or at least he shouldn’t be.

No mortal human should be 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, and still be able to cut on a dime at a moment’s notice while also having stickum where their hands are supposed to be. But that’s exactly what Harrison Jr. is. He’s a space alien, he’s the eighth wonder of the world—he’s without a doubt the best wide receiver prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

TDN scouts Ryan Fowler and Damian Parson both have the son of the Indianapolis Colts’ legend at No. 3 on their way-too-early 2024 Big Boards, behind only the consensus top two quarterback prospects—and it’s widely accepted that Harrison Jr. would have been the easy WR1 in this most recent class if he was allowed to declare. And it’s not hard to see why, as he ripped off plays like this on the regular en route to a sophomore season with 1,263 total receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

Whereas this past year had a rather spirited debate between Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Quentin Johnston for the title of WR1, there might not be a single person on earth who doesn’t think that Harrison Jr. is, has, and always will be WR1 in 2024.

Looking ahead to all the teams projected to stink it up during this next NFL season, giving them a legit chance to draft the generational wide receiver, an interesting hypothetical comes to mind—how many teams could Harrison Jr. step onto right now and still be the best pass-catching threat on the team? Not in a year from now once he’s draft eligible, not in 10 years when he’ll likely have broken every early career record imaginable, but here in May of 2023: How many teams would Marvin Harrison Jr. be the WR1 on right now?

Let’s get the easy part out of the way first by listing off all the clear, standout top receivers around the league, players already secure as superstars in the NFL and who are just more experienced and developed than Harrison Jr. at this time:

  • A.J. Brown—Eagles
  • Terry McLaurin—Commanders
  • Justin Jefferson—Vikings
  • Mike Evans (I know he’s very close to being washed, but still)—Buccaneers
  • D.K. Metcalf/Tyler Lockett (pick your favorite)—Seahawks
  • Cooper Kupp—Rams
  • DeAndre Hopkins—Cardinals
  • Deebo Samuel—49ers
  • Stefon Diggs—Bills
  • Tyreek Hill/Jaylen Waddle—Dolphins
  • Ja’Marr Chase—Bengals
  • Davante Adams—Raiders

That’s 12 teams off the dome that would probably stick with their guy over Harrison Jr. if they had to choose at this very moment. That still leaves plenty of teams around the NFL with quality receivers who I personally believe Harrison Jr. could challenge for WR1 tomorrow (and yes, Travis Kelce is being counted only as a tight end and not a wide receiver for purposes of this exercise).

Names such as the Cowboys’ CeeDee Lamb, the Lions’ Amon-Ra St. Brown, and the Colts’ Michael Pittman Jr. are other prime candidates to be thrown into that list, and I’m sure all three of those fan bases will try to fight me online if I don’t include them, so for safety reasons let’s expand the list to 15 teams who would not take Harrison Jr. as their WR1 right now. That still leaves 17 NFL franchises that potentially do not employ a wide receiver better than the Ohio State sophomore at this time. Do any of these names seem like better options than Marvin Harrison Jr.?

  • Giants—(the fact that I can’t decide who the Giants’ WR1 is likely answers this question)
  • Packers—Christian Watson
  • Bears—D.J. Moore
  • Saints—Chris Olave
  • Panthers—D.J. Chark
  • Falcons—Drake London
  • Patriots—DeVante Parker
  • Jets—Garrett Wilson
  • Steelers—Diontae Johnson
  • Browns —Amari Cooper
  • Ravens—Odell Beckham Jr. (2023 Edition)
  • Titans—Treylon Burks
  • Jaguars—Christian Kirk/Calvin Ridley
  • Texans—Robert Woods or Nico Collins
  • Broncos—Courtland Sutton (probably, maybe Jerry Jeudy)
  • Chiefs—Kadarius Toney I guess?
  • Chargers—one of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, or Quentin Johnston, pick your favorite.

There are obviously plenty of players someone could stump for over the 20-year-old prospect. Jets fans will demand Wilson be taken off this list. Ridley, Kirk, and Johnson have all produced 1,000-yard receiving seasons at the NFL level. I’m sure there are still people out there who sincerely believe that Beckham Jr. is currently a top 10 wide receiver in the league. 

Even taking off teams like the Steelers and the Jaguars as potential Harrison Jr. WR1 candidates, that still leaves 15 teams around the NFL who at this very moment could use a player born in August of 2002 as their best wide receiver option. And in time, quite honestly, there might not be a single NFL franchise that wouldn’t want No. 18 on Ohio State as their top receiver. That’s how special Marvin Harrison Jr. is. He’s a wide receiver prospect unlike anything we’ve seen before. 

Start your tanking now, NFL teams. If you want this generational wide receiver, you might have to be generationally bad.

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Daniel Olinger