Making an unlikely Commanders case for Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 2

It seems unlikely, but worth discussing nonetheless...
Marvin Harrison Jr.
Marvin Harrison Jr. / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

All signs point to the Washington Commanders taking a quarterback at No. 2 overall, but they should strongly consider Marvin Harrison Jr. instead.

There is an old saying that Rome wasn't built in a day. But nowadays, for better or worse, that is different from what people want. They desire instant gratification and immediate success.

Suppose the Washington Commanders aren't going to forget the responsibility they have to their fanbase, one that has been chained up for several decades, to build the best roster possible for the seasons beyond the upcoming. In that case, it starts with the 2024 NFL Draft.

With all of the uncertainty surrounding who they are going to have under center, economics, and history regarding the quarterback position, the rate of failure in such a situation is much higher. The wrong pick could keep the Commanders in purgatory and involve the loss of an immensely valuable selection.

Commanders should overlook a QB for Marvin Harrison Jr.

Marvin Harrison Jr. is not up for debate as the quarterbacks of this class seem to be. He will step right in from Day 1 and drastically impact NFL games. The potential rate of failure is almost nonexistent. The Commanders need to flood the roster with talent and find a game-managing quarterback with a high ceiling - not reach for the stars.

The Philadelphia Eagles have A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith. The Miami Dolphins boast Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are a formidable duo for the Cincinnati Bengals. If the Commanders were to take Harrison with the No. 2 pick, they would immediately be in the conversation for having the best receiving duo in the NFL.

Terry McLaurin has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards four seasons in a row with some of the league's worst quarterback play in the NFL, all while being intensely focused on by defenses that have not had to key in on much else. But the wideout needs more help to continue putting up these numbers consistently.

If the Commanders had Harrison on a rookie deal, the team could feasibly have two of the NFL's top receivers for several years to come. Not to mention, Jahan Dotson would then become the No. 3 wideout on the depth chart. When one remembers the promise he showed as a rookie, it would not be out of the question for him to begin getting closer to 1,000 yards annually, rather than 500.

Drafting Marvin Harrison Jr. would give the Commanders a dynamic receiving tandem.
Marvin Harrison Jr. / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

During a rebuild, a team needs to take the best players available in almost every situation. It's increasingly hard to be patient in the modern world, but Adam Peters has a psychology degree, so certainly he knows that this ethos has great rewards.

Most quarterbacks taken in such situations do not pan out half as well as our imaginations falsely depict. First-round success is somewhat of a rarity.

There have been 39 quarterbacks drafted in the first round since 2010. Only a few of them have made it to the Super Bowl. Putting all of your chips on one person to be the savior is typically not the way to go.

For every Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Joe Burrow, countless more quarterbacks have been taken in the place of much better players simply because of positional importance. Sam Bradford, Sam Darnold, Zach Wilson, Blake Bortles, and Mitchell Trubisky are just some examples.

Let's also not forget about Tim Tebow, Justin Fields, Dwayne Haskins, Johnny Manziel, Jake Locker, Josh Rosen, Blaine Gabbert, Marcus Mariota, and Jameis Winston. There are many more - some of whom have long been forgotten. Although the Commanders look set on taking a quarterback, they won't be betting on a sure thing.

Commanders would have prolific WR duo with Marvin Harrison Jr.

Pairing Harrison with McLaurin while opposing defenses still have to keep tabs on the violent downhill running of Brian Robinson Jr. and also looking after Dotson in the slot would be a nightmare. However unlikely it appears right now.

Kliff Kingsbury's offense would be a frightening experience for other defensive coordinators, even if it was run by a game manager. We also need not forget that Peters was, in large part, responsible for putting together rosters that went to the Super Bowl with the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo and Brock Purdy, as well as one with Peyton Manning, who, at the time, was throwing dying ducks through the air.

Marvin Harrison Jr. is unlikely to be drafted by the Commanders.
Marvin Harrison Jr. / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Peters knows that it's not necessary to get there with a high-end selection. Far from it.

If the Commanders don't take a quarterback which does seem unlikely, then trading down is another option. But if they want Harrison, those in power can stand pat and secure his services with no fuss attached. With the number of other high-quality picks they have in the first three rounds, Washington could also package together picks to move up for a signal-caller if the right opportunity comes along.

At the end of the day, the Commanders are either rebuilding or not. If this is a true rebuild, which it is, despite Dan Quinn's previous comments, then Washington needs to exercise some patience and trust that building one of the best-receiving rooms in the NFL has proven to bring trips to the playoffs.

To make the postseason does not require a star quarterback. This is one of the best-kept secrets in the NFL. Now, should a quarterback turn into Tom Brady or Mahomes, then so be it.

Until that happens, the Commanders should rebuild and rebuild the right way. Harrison is a tremendous place to start.