Jets trade up for top WR Marvin Harrison Jr. in mock draft

Pure chaos at the top end of Daniel Jeremiah’s third mock draft, where a few trades change the entire landscape within the top 10. In the midst of that chaos were the New York Jets, who moved up from pick 10 to land Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

In order for Harrison to make it to pick five, the first four picks were quarterbacks, with Minnesota trading up to pick four to select JJ McCarthy.

Jeremiah’s reasoning behind this jump up the draft board for the Jets makes sense: the Jets solidified their starting offensive line in free agency and “desperately” need a playmaker to pair with Garrett Wilson at receiver.

What I’ll add is that while the Jets now have five starting offensive linemen on the roster, while it does give them the flexibility that they didn’t have before to make a move like this, that also doesn’t mean they should be done addressing the offensive line either. You can read more about that here.

Jeremiah does not specify what the Jets would have to give up to make this trade happen. However, with limited draft capital in 2024, which includes only two picks in the top 100, along with ranking 26th overall in draft capital value, the Jets likely had to part with draft capital from 2025.

There are several variables in play that make it difficult to gauge what the Jets would need to give up, such as where they will be selecting in each round of the 2025 draft. But in using the 2024 version of the trade value chart and some guesswork, Joe Douglas may have to be willing to part with a late first round pick or a second round pick – and then some potentially – to make a deal with the Chargers work.

However, if Jets are able to actually pull this off, they address a massive need by landing Harrison Jr., who is considered the top receiver in what is a very loaded draft class. On Jeremiah’s latest big board, he has Harrison ranked as the second overall prospect, behind only USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

With up and down quarterback play this past season, Harrison was still incredibly effective, lining up primarily on the boundary. He caught 67 of his 114 targets for 1,211 yards at a whopping 18.1 yards per catch with 14 touchdowns.

In 2022, Harrison hauled in 65 percent of his 118 targets for 1,263 yards at 16.4 yards per catch, with once again, 14 touchdowns. In short, Harrison is a game-changer, able to win in all parts of the field and do so in a variety of ways.

For a closer look at Harrison’s game, here is what Jeremiah wrote about him in his pre-draft scouting report:

“Harrison has ideal size, speed and production,” wrote Jeremiah. “Built like a power forward, he plays with a blend of physicality and explosiveness. He uses his upper-body strength to power through press coverage. He’s a smooth/fluid route runner and closes the cushion quickly. He gets on the toes of cornerbacks before sharply breaking off his route.

“He can tap into another gear when the ball goes up and he tracks over his shoulder with ease. He knows how to use his big frame to wall off and shield defenders. Harrison has a huge catch radius, but he did have some contact drops in traffic this fall. After the catch, he relies on speed and physicality more than elusiveness. Overall, Harrison is a prototypical No. 1 receiver and should enjoy immediate NFL success.”

Simply getting Aaron Rodgers back will on its own bolster the Jets’ offense, but this unit is in need of an additional playmaking presence to help take some of the burden and the eyes off of Garrett Wilson. While Wilson totaled 1,042 receiving yards in 2023, even with inconsistent quarterback play, the Jets’ second leading receiver was Allen Lazard with 311 yards.

The pairing of Wilson and Harrison would greatly stress opposing defenses. No longer can opponents only key in on Wilson, but they have to worry about Harrison as well.

This dynamic then forces defenses to defend the entire field and provides either Wilson or Harrison with one-on-one opportunities to exploit. While opponents can try to limit one of them, they can’t take away both.

Along with both Wilson and Harrison benefitting from each others’ presence on the field, there will be a positive trickle-down effect to everyone else within the offense. More space overall creates more room for the other receivers and tight ends to operate in and there will also be less attention on players like Lazard and Tyler Conklin because the focus is on Harrison and Wilson.

Breece Hall and the run game will benefit from likely facing relatively few light boxes and I would guess that teams aren’t going to be blitzing Rodgers all that much in fear of leaving themselves exposed on the back-end.

There will be a cost in future high end draft capital to make this trade a reality, but for a Jets team in win-now mode, pairing Harrison with Wilson goes a long way in helping that cause, creating an elite one-two punch at receiver for Rodgers.

Story originally appeared on Jets Wire