Why The Arizona Cardinals Should Not Exchange the Number 4 Pick

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than a fortnight away, and all 32 franchises are hoping to add the National Football League’s (NFL) next superstar to their rosters. Following another disappointing 4-13 season, the Arizona Cardinals have the fourth overall pick in the draft, giving them every chance to get their hands on a stellar prospect for the upcoming campaign. 

Everyone in football expects the phone of Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort to be ringing off the hook as Cardinals’ rivals attempt to force that number four pick out of his grasp. Ossenfort has reportedly stated that anyone wishing to take that early pick from him must give up three future first-round picks. It is a hefty price but very much in line with what teams have given up in the past; here’s looking at you, San Francisco 49ers, and Trey Lance.

The Most Likely Destinations For the First Three Picks

Anyone who is savvy at betting on football online knows the three teams before the Cardinals desperately need a new quarterback. The Chicago Bears will likely use their number-one pick to select Caleb Williams, especially after the Bears traded Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jayden Daniels of LSU looks destined to be selected second overall by the Washington Commanders. At the same time, the New England Patriots are thought to be in the market for North Carolina’s Drake Maye

The Cardinals Need a Wideout Player NOW

Although receiving three future first-round picks would put the Cardinals in an excellent spot for the 2025 season, head coach Jonathan Gannon needs players now. Gannon’s team showed glimpses of their capabilities last season, with three of their four victories coming against the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Philadelphia Eagles, who all navigated their way to the playoffs. However, the Cardinals’ offense was hindered throughout the season because of a lack of options for Kyler Murray (when fit) and Joshua Dobbs. The Cardinals need a wide receiver, and Marvin Harrison Jr. looks set to be available at, you guessed it, number four in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Tight end Trey McBride topped the Cardinals’ receiving charts with 825 yards from 81 receptions during his second season as a professional. Although this represents a decent return, especially when McBride averaged 10.2 yards per reception, his receiving yards total was only good enough for 40th in the league last season.

Marquise Brown, now with the Kansas City Chiefs, and rookie Michael Wilson finished the campaign with 574 and 565 yards, respectively, and the fact Wilson is now arguably the top wide receiver on the roster shows how much the Cardinals need a WR1 for the upcoming season. 

Harrison Jr. Looks Ready-Made For the Cardinals

Harrison Jr. was always destined to become a wide receiver because of his father, Marvin Harrison. Harrison Sr. played 190 regular-season games for the Indianapolis Colts between 1996 and 2008, receiving 14,580 yards for an average of 13.2 and scoring 128 touchdowns. Add to the mix 883 yards, two touchdowns, and a Super Bowl ring from 16 postseason games, and you can see why Harrison Sr. is considered one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history, one worthy of his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Harrison Jr. ticks all the boxes a team would want if it could craft the perfect wideout player. He is 6 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 205 pounds, and is highly athletic. His leaping ability is off the charts, and his movement is incredible. It is easy to see that Harrison Jr. has played catch with a Hall of Famer throughout his entire life.

The future Cardinals WR1 started his college career with Ohio State in 2021 but found his playing time limited. Harrison Jr. played behind future first-round picks Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Garrett Wilson, resulting in only one start and 13 appearances. His only start was in the 2022 Rose Bowl, where he caught six passes for 71 yards and a trio of touchdowns.

With Olave and Wilson now playing professional football, Harrison Jr. played in all 13 Ohio State games, racking up a career-best 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns from 77 catches. His performances on the field earned him the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year award, and he was voted a unanimous All-American.

In 2023, Harrison won the Fred Biletnikoff Award after enjoying 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns, with an average of 17.6 yards. Unsurprisingly, Harrison Jr. declared for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Harrison Jr. Isn’t The Only Wideout Hot Prospect

Fans, pundits, and experts rank Harrison Jr. as the best wide receiver in college football, yet he is not the only wideout player who has caught the eye. The 2024 NFL Draft could be one of the best ever for wide receivers, with the likes of Malik Nabers (LSU), Rome Odunze (Washington), and tight end Brock Bowers (Georgia) earning plaudits.

Nabers is coming off the back of a career-best season for the LSU Tigers. The Louisiana native started all 13 LSU games, caught 89 passes, scored 14 touchdowns, and had 1,569 receiving yards for an average of 17.6. The New York Giants are touting Nabers, but he is definitely an option for the Cardinals.

Odunze is another young man with a wealth of natural talent. As a junior in 2022, Odunze finished with a team-leading 1,145 receiving yards, the fifth-most in a single season for Washington. Early into the 2023 season, Odunze suffered a broken rib and punctured lung in a game against the University of Arizona, yet despite those ailments, he went on to rewrite the Washington Huskies’ history books by finishing the season with 1,640 receiving yards, almost 200 more than the record 1,454 Reggie Williams set in 2002.

Whoever the Cardinals select with their number four pick, quarterback Kyler Murray must be licking his lips in anticipation. If Murray can put his injury woes behind him and have a talented WR1 to aim for, he and the Cardinals could be in for an exciting 2024 NFL season.