The 2024 NFL Draft Class has the potential to be one of many higher courses we’ve seen on the prime. After all, the headliners are the QBs, with USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye getting all of the accolades and hype for being the potential prime picks within the class.
Nonetheless, the very best participant within the 2024 NFL Draft class no matter place isn’t a quarterback, it’s Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr. Sure, the son of Indianapolis Colts legend Marvin Harrison is lastly draft eligible, and for my cash, he’s the highest participant within the 2024 class. We will have a look at the numbers, positive. In 2022 Harrison Jr. had 77 catches for over 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns in a loaded large receiver room that included first spherical choose Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Emeka Egbuka. But, Harrison Jr. was the very best of all of them.
So, what makes Harrison Jr. the preliminary finest participant within the 2024 draft class? Properly, let’s hop into what makes him particular.
Grace and physique management + athleticism
Harrison Jr. is listed at 6’4 and 205 kilos, and he’s about as lengthy and wiry as they arrive. His lengthy arms permit him to increase means outdoors of his body to make catches, turning 50-50 passes into 60-40 balls in his favor. The flexibility to line up as a real X (the large receiver usually remoted by himself in 3×1 formations) and win in opposition to the very best competitors persistently makes him the very best receiver on this present draft class and the highest general participant.
18 Days till Ohio State Soccer
Marvin Harrison Jr. made one of the crucial ridiculous catches I’ve ever seen in individual final season in opposition to Michigan State
— The Victory Bell (@VictoryBellOSU) August 15, 2023
Nonetheless, he’s not solely an enormous soar ball receiver. He has the pace, agility and most significantly the physique management to win at each degree of the sector.
Right here, he’s lined up in opposition to Penn State cornerback and future first rounder Kalen King, and he effortlessly simply glides proper previous him, separating vertically and creating an enormous play down the sector.
Marvin Harrison Jr. energetic palms to swat away Kalen King’s palms whereas he’s in press man. Harrison Jr. is ready to stack him and are available down with the catch pic.twitter.com/IRgUKZaDqT
— Tyler Browning (@DiabeticTyler) November 2, 2022
Amongst all cross catchers with 30 targets because the remoted X receiver, Harrison Jr. completed third in first down charge, that means 88.5 p.c of the time Harrison was focused, it resulted in a primary down.
The grace and physique management he operates with as a bigger receiver is one thing that actually isn’t seen as typically in bigger receivers coming into the draft. Harrison Jr. has obtained comparisons to AJ Inexperienced, and so they’re apt. His means to be such a sudden and easy mover at that top is uncommon, and makes him a real sport changer on the large receiver place.
I do know it has been mentioned earlier than, however Marvin Harrison Jr. being this fluid and sudden of a mover at *checks notes* 6’4 is so spectacular pic.twitter.com/SHWz5kv9K2
— JP Acosta (Pug Dederson Stan Acct) (@acosta32_jp) August 2, 2023
Technical prowess as a route runner
Harrison Jr. is a really clear route runner at his dimension. His means to sink his hips and make cuts laterally is superior to see. Towards Iowa, he gained on a number of whip routes, the place the receiver runs inside then shortly bursts again to the surface. Harrison is in a position to do that like a smaller receiver, regardless of being rather a lot bigger.
Watching Iowa CB Cooper DeJean, and got here throughout this rep from Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
6’4″, 205-pound receivers shouldn’t be capable of sink this a lot on whip routes. Simply an absurd expertise. pic.twitter.com/DOUyDGzpXu
— Ian Cummings (@IC_Draft) June 1, 2023
I imply, it’s spectacular watching him make catches outdoors of his body and have the ability to hold his total physique inbounds to maneuver the chains. His footwork and coordination at that dimension make him particular, and very troublesome to defend. His means to go excessive of you, whereas additionally having the ability to beat you on the in between routes makes him the very best participant on this upcoming draft class.
Persistently breaking off protection cushion, creating separation, exhibits his sideline footwork on the 2nd catch.
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) October 24, 2022
Now, Harrison isn’t an ideal prospect. I feel he can enhance in his means to create after the catch (329 yards after the catch per Sports activities Data Options, eightieth amongst all school soccer cross catchers). He’s not the very best receiver in that class, and Ohio State didn’t ask him to do this fairly often; SIS doesn’t observe Harrison Jr. with any routes run or targets from the slot. You want to see him be extra versatile, however with how good and profitable Harrison Jr. is from the surface, it doesn’t must be his specialty.
What we do learn about Harrison is that this: he’s a really dominant boundary receiver, probably coming into the draft with extra guys who had been slot solely or No. 2 receivers. Harrison Jr. is an alpha outdoors receiver who’s sport appears to be like like it may translate simply to the subsequent degree.