Marvin Harrison Jr. has enormous pressure to succeed early with Cardinals

2024 NFL Draft - Portraits
2024 NFL Draft - Portraits / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

Let’s face it, any NFL rookie that is drafted in the first round alone has a good amount of pressure. Teams are spending millions of dollars for these players to provide an impact for their franchises. Now, if you are a top five pick, there is an enormous amount of pressure to not only start from day one, but to give a preview as to what you can bring to a team for the next decade. The Arizona Cardinals have one of those players with wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. who was drafted 4th overall. The Cardinals made two first round selections on the first night of the draft with Harrison and edge rusher Darius Robinson from Missouri.

In the last ten years, we have seen just four receivers drafted in the top five before Harrison, Ja’Marr Chase (2021), Corey Davis (2017), Amari Cooper (2015), and Sammy Watkins (2014). Chase has been electric in his short career with the Cincinnati Bengals and Amari Cooper has been a solid wideout for a majority of his career with the Raiders, Cowboys and Brown. With Davis and Watkins, they are currently not on teams and have had injuries affect their careers. Out of all these wideouts, Chase went into the best situation because he had his college quarterback in Joe Burrow throwing him the football. Harrison will have Kyler Murray, which puts pressure on him heading into the season.

In this year’s draft class, there were the big three with Harrison, Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze. Nabers was drafted to the New York Giants who need to upgrade at quarterback badly. Nabers is going into a situation where Daniel Jones is coming off a torn ACL from last season and the Giants do not seem committed to Jones as the starter beyond the 2024 season. Then there is Odunze, who yes, will be having the number one overall pick throwing him the ball. However, Caleb Williams is a rookie quarterback who is going to be going through lots of ups and downs to start his career. Not to mention, there are a lot of players in the Bears’ offense that are going to want the ball. Chicago has wide receiver D.J. Moore, they traded for Keenan Allen and signed both D’Andre Swift and Gerald Everett. 

That leaves just Harrison who gets the best quarterback situation with Kyler Murray. There are already a lot of high expectations of Harrison just because of what his father was able to do when he played for the Indianapolis Colts. In addition, the Cardinals do not have the best receiving core in the NFL on paper. While players like Greg Dortch and Michael Wilson have shown promise, it is going to be a lot of carrying by Harrison until the Cardinals can provide another solid wideout option for Murray. Until they do, Harrison should be the main go-to guy and that is a lot to ask a rookie who has never played a down in the NFL.

As long as Harrison has Murray throwing him the ball, he will have a true chance to perform, but the standards are higher because of the superstar potential he has. Harrison will need to bring it because the Cardinals’ passing attack does not have a lot after him.