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Dynasty Rookie Draft Advice: Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze (2024)

Dynasty Rookie Draft Advice: Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze (2024)

The NFL offseason is nearly upon us. While others (and myself in the coming weeks) focus on 2024 way-too-early fantasy football rankings, 2024 free agency, and NFL team needs, let’s take a look ahead to the 2024 NFL draft and what it has to offer in terms of dynasty fantasy football talent.

Throughout the draft season, I’ll be delivering prospect overviews at every fantasy position to keep tabs on the top dynasty prospects. For those looking to dig deeper, check out the highly-coveted FantasyPros Dynasty Draft Kit and the fully-fledged 2024 NFL Draft Guide.

Be sure to check out all the individual 2024 NFL Draft prospect profiles for all positions written by FantasyPros’ Matthew Jones. I cross-referenced a lot of my player notes with Jones’ great scouting breakdowns of the WRs in this class.

Let’s dig into the top incoming rookie wide receivers for dynasty fantasy football leagues in 2024 to get familiar with names we will be overly obsessing about over the next three months.

Note that I will be referring to a player’s dominator rating at length in this piece. It’s also included in the table below.

Dominator rating considers the number of touchdowns and receiving yards a particular player commands within his own offense. Breakout age is the age at which a receiver reaches a 20% dominator rating for the first time. Producing at a young age is a solid indication that a player will continue his stretch of production into the pros. After all, when a kid balls out at 19 years old against a bunch of 21- and 22-year-old defensive backs, how can you not be entertained?

Top Dynasty Rookie Wide Receivers

Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR – Ohio State)

Marvin Harrison Jr., the standout wide receiver from Ohio State, has declared his intention to enter the 2024 NFL Draft, leaving behind a remarkable collegiate career. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Harrison brings a unique blend of size, agility, and football IQ to the table, distinguishing himself from his smaller-statured father, Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison, known more for his prowess as a possession receiver with Peyton Manning.

Despite being the progeny of NFL royalty, Harrison Jr. carved out his legacy at Ohio State under the tutelage of esteemed receivers coach Brian Hartline. His tenure at Ohio State was marked by rapid development, transitioning from a reserved role as a true freshman to a dominant force by his sophomore year. Although given the talent he was competing with for targets as a freshman in 2021 at Ohio State – Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba – it’s no wonder Harrison couldn’t crack the starting lineup.

But the 19-year-old finally drew his first start in the Rose Bowl with his teammates opting out to focus on the NFL Draft. Wilson went nuclear to the tune of 6 catches for 71 yards and 3 TDs. And that set the stage for his complete takeover of college football for the next two seasons.

In the 2022 season, Harrison Jr. formed a formidable partnership with future Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, amassing 77 receptions for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns over 13 games, showcasing his route-running finesse and physicality.

Harrison’s junior year further solidified his status as a premier talent, earning him a Heisman Trophy finalist nod—a rare feat for a wide receiver. He concluded the season with 67 receptions for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns, also contributing a rushing touchdown, underscoring his versatility and playmaking ability. That awarded him not only a 44% dominator rating (second-best mark in the class) but the 2023 Fred Biletnikoff Award bestowed to the best WR in college football.

While Harrison Jr. exhibits an almost complete skill set, he has occasionally shown vulnerability to focus drops. He may not pose a significant yards-after-catch threat at the professional level. He finished 38th in the class in YAC/reception in 2023 with just five broken tackles forced in his final year. But that’s been nit-picky when it comes to a WR that checks off nearly every single box you could ask for.

Nevertheless, his exceptional attributes, football lineage, and attack at the catch point make him one of the most anticipated wide receiver prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft as he turns 22 years old in August of 2024. He has the chance to be the highest-drafted WR. I liken Harrison to guys like A.J. Green or Larry Fitzgerald.

Malik Nabers (WR – LSU)

Malik Nabers, a junior wide receiver from LSU, made significant waves in the college football scene with his impressive 3-year career.

Standing at 6 feet and weighing 200 pounds, Nabers led all college-wide receivers during the regular season with 86 receptions for 1,546 yards and 14 touchdowns (34% dominator rating). Over his collegiate career, he accumulated 186 receptions for 2,983 yards and 21 touchdowns, showcasing his consistent development and explosive playmaking ability.

His 28% career college dominator rating ranks 3rd among all WRs in the 2024 draft class.

But what’s more impressive is Nabers’ age-adjusted production. Broke out at 18 years old in 2021 as a freshman. A great sign of things to come for him at the next level.

Nabers is recognized for his explosive route-running, great speed, elite athleticism, and exceptional ball skills. He’s known for his ability to make mid-stride adjustments and is a reliable deep threat. Nabers also excels in contested situations, often turning 50/50 balls into receptions with his potent run-after-catch capabilities.

Projected to be a top pick in the upcoming NFL draft, Nabers is considered a prime candidate for teams in the top ten. His skill set, marked by his speed, playmaking after the catch, and sharp route running, positions him for an immediate impact in the NFL. As he continues to refine his technique and releases, Nabers has the potential to become a dynamic and versatile receiver at the professional level who is yet to turn 21 years old.

After watching some of Nabers’ highlights from this past season, I immediately drew an NFL comparison that I felt great about: Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs.

Rank Name Age Breakout Age
1 Malik Nabers 20 18
2 Xavier Worthy 20 18
3 Jacob Cowing 23 18
4 Brenden Rice 21 18
5 Rome Odunze 21 19
6 Keon Coleman 20 19
7 Troy Franklin 21 19
8 Ainias Smith 22 19
9 Marvin Harrison Jr 21 20
10 Jalen McMillan 22 20
11 Malachi Corley 21 20
12 Jamari Thrash 23 20
13 Dominic Lovett 21 20
14 Brian Thomas Jr 21 21
15 Adonai Mitchell 22 21
16 Ja’Lynn Polk 22 21
17 Devontez Walker 22 21
18 Ladd McConkey 22 21
19 Ricky Pearsall 23 21
20 Jermaine Burton 22 21
21 Javon Baker 22 21
22 Johnny Wilson 22 21
23 Xavier Legette 23 22
24 Roman Wilson 22 22
25 Jordan Whittington 23 N/A

Rome Odunze (WR – Washington)

Washington’s Rome Odunze’s four-year career with the Huskies has been marked by consistent improvement, with his junior year in 2022 marking his status as one of college football’s best WRs: accumulating 75 catches for 1,145 yards, averaging 15.3 yards per reception, with 7 TDs.

The 2023 season saw further improvement, with the 6-foot-3 and 215-pound WR amassing 81 catches for 1,428 yards and 13 TDs, leading to a spot on the AP first-team among other awards en route to a career-high 33% dominator rating. And that was accomplished with him battling through a reported broken rib and punctured lung in late September.

Overall, he finished with the fourth-highest dominator rating in the class at 26%. He also broke out at the early age of 19 during his sophomore campaign.

Consensus scouting reports highlight Odunze’s exceptional confidence/leadership, body control, route-running skills, and imposing physical presence, which grants him a wide catch radius.

His athleticism is further evidenced by his inclusion in Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List, showcasing his speed and agility based on his former track and field background.

The guy screams next-level alpha and target earner at the next level with shades of DeAndre Hopkins and Davante Adams in his game.

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