Marvin Harrison Jr. is used to pressure. That’s only natural when you make the decision to follow in your father’s footsteps and your father happens to be a Hall of Fame receiver.

Marvin Harrison Sr. spent 13 seasons in the NFL, each one with the Indianapolis Colts while being named to 8 straight All-Pro teams (3 first-team honors). He helped deliver a Super Bowl title to the Colts and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2016 with over 14,000 career receiving yards.

To his credit, Harrison Sr. has said he only wants his son to succeed at whatever he chooses to do. It just so happens, that decision included football, and Harrison Jr. knows the challenges that come with that.

“When you see Harrison Jr. on the back of your jersey,” the son said via the Arizona Cardinals team website, “everyone is expecting big things.”

Now, Harrison will feel that pressure two-fold with the Cardinals. Larry Fitzgerald last played a snap for the Cardinals in the 2020 season, but his presence still looms over the franchise as Arizona’s all-time best player and leader in receiving yards at over 17,000.

Fitzgerald is currently not in the HOF, but that’s only because he is not yet eligible. With a decorated 17-year career, he is expected to be a first-ballot induction when eligible.

Fitzgerald also entered the NFL in a similar manner to Harrison Jr., coming off the board as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. The parallel to the 2 receivers is undeniable, and Harrison Jr. is not running from that fact.

Fortunately, he is used to stepping into big shoes, and this will be no different:

“I’ve always had big shoes to fill, and being an Arizona Cardinal, knowing the legacy Fitz had, I’m going to do my best to hopefully out-do him like I’m trying to out-do my Dad,” Harrison Jr. said. “They both had Hall of Fame careers. Hopefully I can do the same.”

To his credit, Fitzgerald has tried to ease the expectations of Harrison out of the gate. The Arizona legend admitted the gold jacket standard for Harrison was set by his father, and the expectations of the Cardinals will pale in comparison.

“I came in with the idea, ‘This is not something we need,'” Fitzgerald told “So I felt a lot of pressure, a lot of stress to live up to what Anquan did. I didn’t have as great a rookie year as Anquan had, but it gave me motivation to continue to succeed.

“When you deal with high-level achievers like Marvin, there is already an internal pressure that is way more than any external pressure you could ever give him. His expectation is to put on a gold jacket one day. That’s been set in his own house. That’s the expectation for playing receiver. Our expectations are going to pale in comparison.”

Rookie expectations

So, what should fans expect from Harrison as a rookie? The long-term goals are that Harrison will develop into a (multiple season) All-Pro receiver, but expecting that as a rookie would be a bit much, even for a player of Harrison’s stature.

The jump to the NFL is also sometimes hard to project for rookie receivers. Fitzgerald had 780 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns as a rookie but did not finish in the top 10 for AP Rookie of the Year voting.

David Boston, a former Ohio State star himself, had a similar opening season. He had just 473 yards as a rookie, but both Fitzgerald and Boston would quickly ascend.

In his second season, Fitzgerald exploded with 103 catches for over 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns. Boston’s second season included over 1,100 yards, and he was a first-team All-Pro with 1,598 yards and 8 touchdowns in his third season.

Simply put, rookie receivers are never guaranteed to get to 1,000 yards receiving, even for a player of Harrison’s status. In fact, that complicates matters because Harrison is stepping into a situation where he is likely going to be Arizona’s WR1 from Day 1, meaning he is likely to draw the toughest coverage of the opposition.

For now, DraftKings has set Harrison’s regular season receiving yards at 1000.5 for his rookie season. Fans looking to get in on that number can use Tradition’s DraftKings Ohio promo code links and codes to get started.

If Harrison doesn’t hit that number as a rookie, it will be disappointing, particularly if quarterback Kyler Murray is able to stay healthy. However, it should not be viewed as a harbinger of future results.

Harrison’s used to the pressure, and he’s in line to develop into a major contributor at the NFL level.