2024 NFL Draft Odds on Malik Nabers vs Marvin Harrison Jr.: Is The Underdog Live?

2024 NFL Draft Odds on Malik Nabers vs Marvin Harrison Jr.: Is The Underdog Live? article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Marvin Harrison Jr. (left) and Malik Nabers.

Marvin Harrison Jr., the son of a Hall of Fame wide receiver, has been the presumed top prospect at his position in this draft class for quite a while. In fact, some analysts have Harrison as their top player overall, regardless of position. Harrison is currently priced at hefty -1050 odds to be the top receiver drafted on FanDuel, while DraftKings has him listed at -650 to be the first non-quarterback selected.

Over the last two seasons at Ohio State, Harrison finished with over 2,400 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns. There are very few weaknesses in his game. He possesses elite footwork and change-of-direction ability, he’s a refined route-runner with consistent hands and his film contains a ton of highlight-reel contested catches.

However, there appears to be a groundswell in the draft analyst community regarding the threat of LSU's Malik Nabers being the first receiver drafted. Nabers will be one of the league’s most explosive players from the moment he steps foot on an NFL field, and his lightning quick footwork makes him a truly unique prospect.

I wouldn't be shocked if Nabers ended up being the 1st WR off the board. I love MHJ and Odunze but Nabers brings a different element. It'll come down to preference of style but I guarantee some teams will have Nabers at the top of the list.

— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 18, 2024

Nabers finished last season with 89 catches for 1,568 yards and 14 touchdowns as the WR1 for Jayden Daniels, a presumed top-three pick in this year’s draft, during his Heisman campaign. Nabers logged 3.64 yards per route run last season, which ranked third among 200 NCAA wide receivers with 30+ targets. Harrison ranked fifth in that metric at 3.44 yards per route run.

Nabers is right behind Harrison in terms of his odds to come off the board. He’s +650 to be the first wide receiver drafted on FanDuel and +600 to be the first non-quarterback selected on DraftKings. By all accounts, Nabers has done enough to separate himself from Rome Odunze, the consensus WR3 in this class, and is closing in on Harrison at the top.

2024 NFL Draft Odds on Malik Nabers vs Marvin Harrison Jr.

This all begs the question: Is there value in betting on Nabers at this point in time? While the value is undoubtedly enticing with Nabers, I’d argue against a wager on him. Harrison is listed at -250 to be drafted by the Cardinals on BetMGM and -275 on DraftKings.

Arizona could undoubtedly use a wide receiver, as their current depth chart is incredibly uninspiring. Their starters in 11 personnel at this point in time would be Michael Wilson, Chris Moore and Greg Dortch, which is arguably the worst trio in the league on paper. As second-year general manager Monti Ossenfort attempts to build the roster around Kyler Murray, an upgrade at the wide receiver position is certainly needed.

At the time of the combine, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer said he’d “pencil [Harrison] in as the fourth pick to the Arizona Cardinals," as a former colleague of Ossenfort’s told Breer that “Harrison is a wheelhouse sort of prospect for the Cardinals GM, the way Harrison’s ex-teammate Paris Johnson Jr. was last year.”

Speaking of Johnson, the former Ohio State offensive tackle appeared on the Cardinals Corner podcast and spoke glowingly of his former teammate. “I feel like the whole world knows he’s the best receiver in the draft," Johnson said. He also added that Harrison “said he wanted to be a Cardinal” after Johnson was drafted.

Marvin Harrison Jr. to Paris Johnson Jr.:

“I want to be a Cardinal.”



— Jireh #BirdGang (@jirashon) March 16, 2024

I also find it noteworthy that Harrison didn’t participate in any drills at the combine. It’s highly likely that a team picking near the top of the draft has already given Harrison an indication that he’ll be their selection if he’s available. The Cardinals make a ton of sense, given their position and apparent need.

The Verdict

We often see prospect fatigue set in around this time of year. We’ve been discussing this draft class for what feels like an eternity, and with still a handful of weeks to go before draft day, it’s easy to create storylines where they don’t actually exist.

Harrison is the top wide receiver in this class. He has been for several months, and he will be on April 25 when the commissioner walks to the podium and announces the beginning of the 2024 NFL Draft.

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