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Marvin Harrison Sr. defends son’s unique pre-draft approach; new Cardinals WR says he loves where he’s at

Instead of going through the normal pre-draft routines, Marvin Harrison Jr. — at the console of his father and Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison Sr. — decided to play the long game. While his approach received some criticism, it worked out in the end for Harrison, who is rested and ready to take part in Cardinals‘ rookie minicamp next week. 

“I love where my body is at right now,” Harrison Jr. recently told ESPN. “I love where I’m at going into the season, going into minicamp [and] into training camp. I’m just super excited because I think (this) puts me in a great position to succeed come the regular season.”

So, what did Harrison do that was different than other prospects? In addition to opting out of Ohio State’s bowl game, Harrison didn’t participate in the Buckeyes’ Pro Day or the NFL Combine. He also only visited with two NFL teams — the Cardinals and Bears — ahead of the draft. 

While other prospects spent months training for workouts and traveling to NFL facilities, Harrison — who hasn’t taking the football field in a public setting since Ohio State’s No. 25 loss to Michigan — spent that time preparing for his first NFL season. 

“Do we take this precious time in January and February to relax and get ready for a 22-week season, or do you wanna go and beat yourself up, and the best you’re gonna do anyway is go four?” Harrison Sr. recently said. “So, we just weighed those options as a family. It’s like no matter what you do in this combine or a pro day, what’s the best can happen? And it was four.”

As Harrison Sr. alluded to, his son’s unique situation put him in position to take the non-conventional route. Barring the unexpected, Harrison was going to the Cardinals with the fourth overall pick. That’s ultimately what happened, as Harrison was the first non-quarterback to be taken. 

Harrison is hoping that his approach pays dividends this season, specifically when it comes to the proverbial rookie wall. 

“Hopefully, come December and January, and then hopefully playoff time, I’m playing my best football,” he said, “because I got the rest I needed.”

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