Marvin Harrison Jr, son of Colts legendary Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Marvin Harrison Sr is likely entering the 2024 NFL Draft. The young WR himself is being praised as the best WR prospect since potentially Calvin Johnson. Combining truly freak-of-nature athleticism with the technical polish of a 10-year NFL veteran. It’s like he was born to play Wide Receiver.
Many fans over the last couple of months have hoped that there was some way for Harrison Jr to be drafted onto his father’s team. A potential homecoming would be perfect. The Colts have an interesting WR group with Michael Pittman Jr’s reliability, Downs’ strong rookie season, and Pierce’s deep speed keeping defenses honest. But they lack that one truly elite passing weapon. A WR of Harrison Jr’s caliber feels like the final piece of the Offense along with a healthy Anthony Richardson. Could it be destiny?
But Can The Colts Get Marvin Harrison Jr?
Probably not. After Week 10 in the NFL season, the dream has been essentially crushed. The Colts in spite of Richardson’s limited availability are 5-5. Credit goes to the Colts new coaching staff, young players stepping up, and GM Chris Ballard building a solid core. Most teams with a backup QB for so long wouldn’t be at .500 at this point in the season.
Why am I calling for the dream’s death? It’s not like this is the first time this year the Colts were at or above .500.
It is because, with their latest win over the New England Patriots in Frankfurt, Germany, the Colts have reached the 5-win total. This win total is significant not only because of the Colts beating their 2022 4.5 win total but because it means the Colts are not going to be in a position to draft the touted WR out of Ohio State.
In case everyone didn’t realize, the Marvin Harrison Jr ➡️ Colts in the 2024 Draft dream is basically dead
5 win teams have picked in Round 1:
Unless Ballard trades up in Rd1 for the 1st time ever or MHJ miraculously falls, ain’t happening
— Jay Robins 🧾mark (@RobinsLucas) November 12, 2023
The last time a 5-win team got a top 4 pick in their allotted draft slot in a draft was the Bears in the 2005 NFL draft at pick #4. The odds of that happening again are highly unlikely even if the Colts somehow lose every game this season after the bye.
Could Marvin Harrison Jr Fall In The Draft?
With the way Marvin Harrison Jr is playing, the idea of him making out of the top 4 picks seems insane. In 11 games thus far in 2023, Harrison has played at an extremely high level.
- 59 Catches
- 1,063 Receiving Yards
- 18 Yards Per Catch
- 12 TDs
This is despite a drop-off at QB with CJ Stroud now in the NFL and Kyle McCord not quite filling those big shoes. Harrison Jr. has gotten even better as a prospect and has displayed every trait you could possibly want in a WR on his tape. The term generational prospect absolutely without a shadow of a doubt applies to him.
In a draft with several blue-chip prospects who seem like franchise players at premium positions, he still is the top overall prospect on boards. Harrison has been playing THAT well in 2023. Barring unforeseen injury, off-the-field issues, an insane run on QBs at the top of the draft, or some bizarre act of god, Marvin Harrison Jr being a top 4 pick seems like a lock.
What About Trading Up for Marvin Harrison Jr?
Barring any of that, there is only one way for the Colts to secure his services: a trade-up. While Chris Ballard is known to trade back in drafts a lot, it’s not like trading up is unprecedented for him as a GM.
- 2020 Draft: Traded up in early Round 2 for Jonathan Taylor
- 2019 Draft: Traded up in Round 4 for Khari Wills
- 2018 Draft: Traded up in end of Round 2 for Tyquan Lewis
As you can see there are 2 things holding me back from expecting a trade-up:
- Chris Ballard hasn’t traded up in the draft since 2020
- Chris Ballard has never traded up in the 1st Round
Is it impossible? No, especially if the Colts are unable to retain Michael Pittman Jr as a free agent and the WR need gets more pronounced (as opposed to other needs like CB and DE). But is it something I will expect? Absolutely not.
The Good News…
Despite losing out on the Marvin Harrison Jr sweepstakes due to competency, there are still many prospects to be excited about. The range of where the Colts Round 1 draft pick could fall is still large with so much of the season left. But there are numerous players at the Colts arguably 3 biggest positions of need for the Colts to be enticed by, whether at their own draft spot or in a trade back.
- Non-Marvin Harrison Jr Wide Receivers:
- Florida State’s Keon Coleman
- LSU’s Malik Nabers
- Washington’s Rome Odunze
- Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka
- Texas’ Adonai Mitchell
- South Carolina’s Xavier Legette
- Texas’ Xavier Worthy
- Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry
- Iowa’s Cooper DeJean
- Penn State’s Kalen King
- Clemson’s Nate Wiggins
- TCU’s Josh Newton
- Iowa State’s TJ Tampa
- Defensive Ends:
- Penn State’s Chop Robinson
- UCLA’s Laitu Latu
- Alabama’s Dallas Turner
- Florida State’s Jared Verse
- Florida’s Princely Umanmielen
- Washington’s Bralen Trice
- Utah’s Jonah Ellis
- Ohio State’s JT Tuimolau
So relax, Colts fans. The team can still add several really talented players at positions of need in the 2024 draft. None of them may be The-Prince-Who-Was-Promised, but there is legitimate reason for optimism if the Colts get any of them. For now, we can enjoy the current season, see where the pick ends up, and work our way from there. Maybe someday years into the Marvin Harrison Jr will hit the trade block or will become a free agent? You never truly know in the crazy world that is the NFL.
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