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Marvin Harrison Jr. Draft Profile

Scouting Report

Every few years there are draft prospects who people have been waiting to enter the draft since they left high school, and Ohio State Wide Receiver, Marvin Harrison Jr. is one of those guys. The son of the Colts Hall of Fame Wide-Out, Harrison Jr. is looking to make a name for himself in his own right. Standing at 6’3 210 lbs., Harrison Jr.’s physical traits put him in the top percentile of athletes in the NFL and it translated to major collegiate success. In his three seasons with the Buckeyes, he was named an unanimous All-American twice and won the Biletnikoff award given to the top receiver in college football. Coming from St. Joseph’s Preparatory, a top high school in the country, Harrison Jr. was ranked the 14th best receiver, but separated himself once he landed with Brian Hartline, the receivers coach for Ohio State. As a true freshman, Harrison didn’t start his first game until the Rose Bowl when Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave opted-out. In that game, Harrison caught three touchdowns and hasn’t looked back since. He hasn’t missed a start since, playing 25 straight games, before opting-out of the bowl game this year. He has a clean injury history and while he will most likely align as a team’s X-receiver, he is capable of being dominant in the slot and as the Z.


From a demeanor standpoint, Harrison Jr. is very intelligent and has a great feel for the game. He always seems like he is “in control” and has a visceral awareness of spacing and timing. When the game got close and Ohio State needed a big play, the team would lean on Harrison to step up and he would always respond. Harrison is a difference maker; even when he was stuck in double-coverage, which was more often than any receiver in college football, he would find a way to make a play. In the run game, he is capable of digging out safeties and using his size to block the most dangerous man. Harrison’s understanding for how to gain leverage, attack defenses, and “turn-it-on” is precocious. In a similar way to a player “getting hot” in basketball, the entire stadium will know where the ball is going and Harrison will still find a way to make a play. Harrison is the type of player that a defense builds a game-plan around stopping.


Teams may overlook Harrison’s speed because he stands out in so many other areas, but he is a legitimate 4.3 receiver and has scary game speed. His ability to close space, minimize cushion, and step on a defensive back’s toes allows him to break bracket coverage and threaten teams vertically. Harrison’s speed is palpable, but his body control is what separates him from the pack. Body control is a pretty general term, but Harrison’s is rare in all facets of it. Whether it is his ability to contort his body and adjust to balls mid-flight or snap down at the top of his route and cut outside his frame, defensive backs get stuck in apprehension when isolated in coverage. As a route-runner, Harrison forces defensive backs to open up and then uses their leverage to his advantage. He is always in attack mode— he finds ways to get into blindspots and goes after what defensive backs are trying to takeaway. He is very quick, has rare body control, and plays fast; Harrison is going to the number one receiver from the day he steps onto an NFL field.


Opposing teams have tried to use physicality to slow down Harrison’s inevitability and while Notre Dame was able to find some success through aggressive double teams, he was still able to make plays on the most crucial downs. An area where Harrison is especially advanced is with how he gains separation outside of using pure speed and body control. Most bigger receivers don’t know how to use their size to their advantage coming out of college, but that isn’t the case with Harrison. Whether he is shouldering through and using his long arms to separate at the top of his route or chopping and slipping defenders mid-route, he uses his strength to dissociate from defensive backs. In the red-zone and in a condensed field, Harrison utilizes his frame to box out defenders and position himself well.  When he has the ball in his hands, he leans on his instincts and short area burst to make plays after the catch. His hands are super natural and he is quick to transition upfield after the catch, but there will be times where he occasionally goes too fast resulting in a drop. He is such a meticulous route runner, but he will occasionally get caught up in running the route and won’t get his eyes around in time. With that being said, it is hard to criticize him without feeling like splitting hairs.


In the NFL, Harrison Jr. feels like a grand slam of a pick; he is the cream of the crop in this year’s draft. It is hard to find a pro comparison for someone with such distinctive physical traits and polish coming out, but he reminds me of Julio Jones with a more narrow frame. His explosiveness, body control, and ability to take-over a game is where I see the parallels; he also has some DeAndre Hopkins in his game from a feel and ball skills standpoint. He will most likely be the first non-quarterback selected and should be used as a focal point for whatever offense he lands with. From a scheme fit, it is important that he lands with a team that doesn’t put him in a box of being an outside receiver with a limited route-tree. Harrison has the ability to run every route on every level and line up anywhere on the field. Harrison is as rare of a prospect as we will see coming out of the draft anytime soon.

Draft Grade

Speed: 7.78/10 (Very Good)

Separation Skills: 8.89/10 (Excellent)

Hands + Catch Radius: 8.89/10 (Excellent)

Route Running: 8.89/10 (Excellent)

Physicality + Play Strength: 6.22/8 (Very Good)

Body Control + Movement Skills: 8/8 (Rare)

After the Catch: 4.67/6 (Very Good)

Playmaker: 5.33/6 (Excellent)

Short-Area Quickness: 3.89/5 (Very Good)

Competitiveness + Intelligence + Effort: 3.89/5 (Very Good)

Overall: 66.45/78 (.852)

Final Rating: Very Good NFL Receiver

Projected Position: All Around Receiver

Pro Comparison: Julio Jones with a Narrow Frame

Draft Projection: Top 5 Pick

Draft Grade: Top 2 Player

Team Fits: Cardinals, Titans, Bears

Marvin Harrison Jr.
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