Mel Kiper Jr. has been the go-to for decades for grading prospects and projecting their landing spots. A strong contingent of Arizona Cardinals fans will be following Kiper throughout the pre-draft process, and they will be pleased to see who he’s projecting them to take in his first mock of the season.
With a trio of quarterbacks gone with the first three picks in his piece, it guaranteed the Redbirds would land perhaps the best non-quarterback in the draft, and that pick was Marvin Harrison Jr. While Harrison, like every draft prospect, has a few drawbacks, if he’s there when the Cards pick fourth overall, few fans will have doubts regarding the pick.
What made Kiper roll with Harrison at fourth overall to the Cards? Keep reading to check out his explanation below, and even if you believe an offensive lineman would be a better fit here, Kiper’s justification should at least make things rather thought-provoking.
"“Harrison is one of the best receiver prospects of the past decade, a 6-foot-4 speedster who can run every route and break tackles after the catch. In Arizona, where Marquise Brown is a free agent, he could step into the No. 1 role as a rookie. He has all the tools to win Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2024.”"- Mel Kiper Jr.
Kiper is spot-on with the Arizona Cardinals projected top pick in mock
Should Kiper’s initial projection become a reality, it should also mean Marquise Brown will test the free agent market and land elsewhere for 2024 unless he’s willing to return to Glendale on a cheaper deal. Either way, the Cardinals would get stability at the No. 1 receiver position they haven’t had since DeAndre Hopkins landed in Arizona back in 2020, but as we now know, that stability was short-lived as Hopkins never consistently saw the field in 2021 or 2022.
The Arizona Cardinals also have the 27th pick this year, and for fans who would rather have seen the longtime draft analyst project a tackle to the Redbirds in the first round, they shouldn’t be disappointed. He slotted Oklahoma’s Tyler Guyton in at 27th overall, and if the Oklahoma product or another tackle is taken on April 25th, left guard will be the last major hole on offense that the Cards will have to fill.
We will see if Kiper continues to slate Harrison to the Cardinals at fourth overall, and much of this will depend on what we’re hearing from the Chicago Bears camp. Should Chicago indicate they want to stick with Justin Fields, expect Harrison to rise to No. 1 overall, but if they’re showing signs of making a change, Harrison should stay slotted to the Cards.