WR Notes: Harrison, Parker, Wideman

Plenty of time remains until the 2024 NFL draft will become an area of serious concern around the league, but a few figures can comfortably be considered first-round locks. One of those is Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who is in line for a repeat of his hugely productive 2022 season this fall.

The son of Colts Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison, the 6-3, 202-pounder lit up the statsheet last campaign. Harrison recorded 77 catches for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns, and he is expected to follow that up in 2023 after the departure of Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Other pass-catchers will be worth watching for the Buckeyes (including Emeka Egbuka), but Harrison will enter the season as the top-ranked wideout in the ’24 draft class.

In fact, he could find himself in contention for the No. 1 overall spot, according to at least one NFL general manager. The unnamed exec said, via ESPN’s Matt Miller“We haven’t had a wide receiver drafted first overall since Keyshawn [Johnson], but Harrison could push that – even in a draft with Caleb Williams.”

The presence of not only Williams but also a group of signal-callers including UNC’s Drake Maye in this class would make it surprising for Harrison to hear his name called first at this point. His substantial potential will nevertheless make him a name to watch as the season takes shape.

Here are some other receiver-related notes:

  • The Patriots recently retained DeVante Parker on a three-year extension worth up to $33MM. $14MM in guarantees is reportedly included in the deal, but its base value this year ($1.22MM) and next ($3.3MM) leaves most of his compensation set to be earned via incentives, as detailed (on Twitter) by Henry McKenna of Fox Sports and corroborated by ESPN’s Mike Reiss. The pact’s incentives are tied to playing time, reception and yardage totals and All-Pro honors, which comes as little surprise given the modest statline Parker put up (31-539-3) in his debut Patriots campaign. Reiss notes that more than half of the value of the contract will be tied to incentives, making the former Dolphins’ performance a key storyline to follow moving forward.
  • The NFL will conduct a supplemental draft for the first time since 2019, and a pair of receivers are known to have been granted eligibility for selection. One of them – Malachi Wideman – will audition himself to teams during a Pro Day this Saturday (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of KRPC2). Wideman had a productive stint with Jackson State, which, coupled with an impressive showing on the weekend, could put him on the radar of being selected. The supplemental draft will take place on July 11, and teams will have the opportunity to acquire Wideman, Milton Wright and any other eligible players at the expense of 2024 entry draft capital.
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