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One Offseason Down, Cardinals Try To Define Marvin Harrison Jr. 

Rookie wide receiver has left exceptional impression since draft

Marvin Harrison Jr. leaps to make a catch during Tuesday's minicamp practice.
Marvin Harrison Jr. leaps to make a catch during Tuesday's minicamp practice.

Marvin Harrison Jr. hasn't played a snap in the NFL. He hasn't even put on pads yet.

But teammate Michael Wilson sees his fellow wide receiver, and fully expects Harrison to carry the kind of impressive production he had at Ohio State into the pros.

"He is very perspicacious and always seeking information," Wilson said.

Wilson is a product of Stanford, and his description of Harrison on Tuesday after the Cardinals held their lone minicamp practice of the offseason provided a record-scratch kind of moment as the gathered media tried to figure out what Wilson meant.

So did Harrison, when asked about it soon after.

"Whatever that means," Harrison said with a smile, "it's awesome."

"Perspicacious" means to have a ready insight into and understanding of things, and there is little doubt of that when it comes to Harrison's brief time in the NFL. The No. 4 overall pick has drawn plenty of praise two months into his pro career, about as much as a player could earn without having appeared in a game.

Wide receivers Michael Wilson (14) and Marvin Harrison Jr. (18).
Wide receivers Michael Wilson (14) and Marvin Harrison Jr. (18).

"My expectation for him, he meets and exceeds it thus far," coach Jonathan Gannon said.

Harrison may be perspicacious, but he isn't exactly loquacious or braggadocious. This time of year, he continues to talk about learning the playbook and cementing a role, and there is no chance he'll suggest what his statistics might be.

When OTAs started Harrison was in the middle in the group of the receivers when it came to the lines for wide receivers drills; it was noted he had graduated to No. 1 by Tuesday's offseason-ending practice.

"You come in and give respect to people before you no matter where you are drafted," Harrison said. "I didn't want to come in here with a big head."

That's where a player can stand out the most in this part of the offseason – the attitude and, as Wilson noted, the self-awareness.

The football part of the equation, that was already conspicuous.

"I know there is evaluation fatigue when it comes to the draft process and they want to nitpick what he can do and what he can't do," quarterback Kyler Murray said. "But he's been good at football his whole life. He's been groomed by one of the best, his Pops, Hall of Famer, and there's not much to think about. He plays the game at a high level. It's a new level for him but I have no doubt he'll do his thing this year."

Harrison noted that Wilson has been good in answering his questions, but it was Harrison who executed a certain release off the line at a recent practice which caught Wilson's attention. That turned Harrison into the teacher, and served as a reminder how much Harrison already does know coming into the NFL.

"I can watch a dude and tell if he's got it," Murray said. "He doesn't have to earn my trust."

"If anything," Murray added with a chuckle, "he could break it."

Harrison will acknowledge an intrepidity in his abilities, a quiet nod to what he is and what he might become.

"The game is still the game," Harrison said. "It's still football, the same game you've been playing since you were young."