Agent’s take: The financial ramifications of Marvin Harrison Jr.’s decision about the 2024 NFL Draft

Eighty-two underclassmen declared for the 2023 NFL Draft, which included 13 players who left school with remaining eligibility after getting their college degrees. One player who should have an easy decision about the 2024 draft is Ohio State junior wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

The 2023 consensus All-American left the door open about remaining in school last week. Harrison mentioned unaccomplished goals of beating Michigan and winning a Big Ten championship as motive to return for his senior season.

Most college players with aspirations to play in the NFL leave school at the earliest possible instance if a high draft status has been solidified. Harrison has done that. He is considered a sure-fire top-five pick. Most mock drafts have Harrison going no lower than the third overall pick.

A wide receiver hasn’t gone that early since 2007 when Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson was the second player selected by the Lions. The last wide receiver to be the first player taken was Keyshawn Johnson with the Jets in 1996.

The NCAA allowing collegiate athletes to start profiting off their name, image and likeness in 2021 is a new variable in the equation about turning pro early, particularly in basketball and football. From a pure economic standpoint, Harrison’s decision can be quantified.

Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. was taken third in this year’s draft by the Texans. He signed a fully guaranteed four-year, $35,212,818 rookie contract, which included a $22,609,320 signing bonus. Teams have an option for a fifth year with first-round picks that must be exercised after the third year of the deal.

There’s been a 1% increase in signing bonuses with draft picks in recent years. Assuming this holds true again, 2024’s third overall pick will get a $22,835,412 signing bonus. Between this signing bonus and a $795,000 2024 base salary, Harrison would need to make $23,630,412 in NIL money just to…


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