Assessment of Marvin Harrison Jr.’s landing site in the 2024 NFL Draft

Entering the 2024 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals were seen as the likely landing spot for wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. With the Cardinals drafting Harrison with the fourth overall selection, their wide receiver core finally has a bona fide leader to help get this offense off the ground.

2024 will be a pivotal year for Arizona as Kyler Murray gets a chance to put together his first full season after his ACL injury. For this team to be even remotely competitive, it will be up to Marvin Harrison to take on a heavy workload as the team’s primary pass catcher, a role he has wanted to take on for a few years.

General situation and supporting cast

Trey McBride
© Michael Chow / USA TODAY NETWORK

The situation couldn’t be much better for Harrison, as he enters the NFL with a long-term QB and plenty of vacant targets to fill. While the offense has shown some firepower, it will be up to Harrison to light a candle under an offense that has the firepower to be interesting.

Murray, who is just starting the first year of his five-year contract that he signed in 2022, has the support of head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort. After playing just eight games last season due to his ACL recovery, Murray looked like his old self, with 13 totals (three rushing) and over 2,000 all-purpose yards.

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Murray’s favorite target, left in free agency and signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. His departure leaves more than a hundred targets on the table, targets that MarvinHarrison will likely slide right in and pick up.

With Brown gone, the only other part of the offense worth discussing is third-year Trey McBride. After racking up 106 targets of his own last season, McBride passed for over 800 yards and three touchdowns last season, so he will be the main source of competition for Harrison.

The running game will also need to get some slack, with James Conner and rookie Trey Benson taking on that role. Conner remains a workhorse even at 28, but bringing in Benson, another power forward, will ultimately help share the load.

Expectations for year 1

See, Harrison wasn’t drafted for a redshirt in his first year in the NFL. Plus, with the type of receivers Murray has to throw to, and you have a recipe for heavy usage for a starting wideout.

Franchise records for receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns are all beyond Harrison’s reach in year one, so let’s not expect history right away. But what can be expected, barring injury, is a successful season from the top receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft.

While players like Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze were in the conversation for WR1 in the draft, Harrison will prove exactly why there was never any doubt. A 110+ target season is coming for Marvin Harrison, and he should lead the entire rookie WR class in all major metrics across the board.

2024 Stat Projections – 85 receptions, 1,195 receiving yards, 8 TDs

Impact of fantasy football

Kyler Murray
© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Thinking back to the 2021 fantasy football draft cycle, Ja’Marr Chase was the rookie wideout likely to come off the board first. And after seeing his 81/1,455/13 stat line in year one, culminating in his overall WR5 finish that year, anything is possible for Harrison.

The damage Harrison can do right away will depend on how quickly his relationship with Murray develops. With opposing defenses likely to focus on Harrison because there are no other bona fide targets on offense, Harrison may have to really fight to start the season on a strong note.

Either way, the volume will definitely be there for Harrison, so that shouldn’t be a problem. Harrison immediately enters the WR1 conversation and should be drafted as such, so you can plan to draft him within the first five rounds of your reframed fantasy football leagues.

Landing site class

Grade: A+

Marvin Harrison Jr.
© Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

It should come as no surprise that Harrison is a near-perfect fit in the desert, but the need for a top-tier wide receiver has been so glaring for Arizona. Murray now has his main target that he will likely sprinkle with a ton of targets (think 120+) in the ’24 season.

Harrison was the clear leader in a stacked receiver class, and his landing spot benefits him immensely. While a threat to Puka Nacua’s rookie reception record of 105 receptions should be safe in 2023, the lack of offensive skill players could give Harrison a chance.

The odds of Harrison taking home the Rookie of the Year award are also surprisingly high, just based on how much he’s likely to get the ball. Even if the Cardinals struggle this year, you can bet Harrison will still put in the work and help put his name on the board.