Depending on who you ask, the Indianapolis Colts should or shouldn’t do everything in their power to acquire prized Ohio State junior wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who’s officially declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.
The junior wideout was arguably hands down the best playmaker in college football this past year, recording 67 receptions for 1,211 receiving yards (18.1 ypr. avg.) and 14 touchdown receptions during 12 starts—earning All-American, All-Big Ten, the Fred Belitnikoff Award, and the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year award among other accolades respectively.
Harrison Jr. is not only universally regarded as one of the best wide receiver prospects to come out in recent memory since arguably say Calvin Johnson or Julio Jones, but he’s also (of course) the son of former legendary Colts wideout Marvin Harrison (his namesake), who’s a Pro Football Hall of Famer, and the greatest wide receiver in Indianapolis franchise history all-time—ranking #1 in every major statistical receiving category.
If you ask current Colts star linebacker Zaire Franklin, his general manager Chris Ballard will be sending everything ‘that’s not nailed down’ to trade up to get Harrison Jr., should he actually fall outside of the top five picks of the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft:
“Everything in Indiana that is not nailed down will be sent directly to whoever got that f#$#$@% pick to bring his A$$ to the Colts,” said Franklin recently on his ‘The Trenches Show’ podcast. “We’ll have Anthony (Richardson) and Marvin, and no practice facility, no building.”
“It would be something else. It’d be Capital One Stadium. It wouldn’t be Lucas Oil no more. It’d something else. Bro, we gone get him.”
Typically, such ‘king’s ransom trade downs’ are reserved largely for quarterback needy teams looking to get low enough to select well . . . a top quarterback prospect they’ve had their eye on to hopefully help change the course of their franchise at the league’s most important position (although yes, the Atlanta Falcons actually did it back in 2012 regarding Jones at wideout, and the Houston Texans did it just recently last year for an edge rusher, which we’ll get to).
Remember, the Colts were opportunistically on the receiving end of such a deal, when the New York Jets ‘gave up the farm’ back in 2018 to trade up from the #6 overall spot to #3 to select USC quarterback Sam Darnold (and the Colts of course took offensive guard Quenton Nelson at #6, along with a smorgasbord of other talent later on, courtesy of the Jets). In retrospect, clearly winning the trade, especially in light of Darnold’s struggles.
Just imagine what it would take to get from say #15 overall (where the Colts are currently slated to select in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft) to #5, around where Harrison Jr. is expected to go—if not even earlier. (*Arizona at #4 overall may be his last landing spot).
My expectation is that realistically, the Colts would probably be looking at something around at least the likes of surrendering #15 overall, their 2024 second round pick (#46 overall), and next year’s 2025 first round pick along with some other smaller pieces (future third round pick?) as even the base line to even begin negotiating such trade down talks.
The Texans received the No. 3 and No. 105 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Arizona acquired the No. 12 and No. 33 selections in 2023, plus a 2024 first-round pick and 2024 third-round pick. The Texans traded their own 2024 first-round pick to the Cardinals, not the Browns’ 2024 first round pick they also owned, according to ESPN.
Pending priority Colts free agent Michael Pittman Jr. is either re-signed or franchise tagged this offseason, it’s not as though Indianapolis is exactly desperate for wide receiver help—and Harrison Jr.’s addition could be seen as a bit of a luxury of sorts.
However, the offense needs more explosive plays collectively, which is something Ballard recently stated in his end-of-season press conference:
Ballard says the #Colts need to increase explosive plays on both sides of the ball. Offense was top 10 in that category when Richardson was healthy.— George Bremer (@gmbremer) January 11, 2024
While Pittman Jr. is a bonafide #1 league wideout in his own right, the big bodied possession target is ‘much more Tee Higgins than Ja’Marr Chase’ as it relates to big play ability. So if the Colts have the realistic (but highly expensive) chance to pair Harrison Jr. with Pittman Jr., and most importantly provide young quarterback Anthony Richardson an elite playmaker for his production and continued development, perhaps so be it?
This is an offense that arguably outside star running back Jonathan Taylor and Richardson at starting quarterback, lacks enough explosive, elite playmakers. However, it’s also a wide receiver loaded rookie draft class, so another talented wideout prospect could be readily available at #15 overall—just not realistically Harrison Jr. at this juncture, who’s atop his positional board, but remains a sentimental favorite among Colts fans, and for good reason.
What do you think, Colts fans?
Should the Colts surrender a draft premium to trade up and get Harrison Jr. in?
Let’s hear your thoughts!
Should the Colts trade up to get Marvin Harrison Jr.?
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