Draft dilemma: Marvin Harrison Jr.'s possible return leaves Patriots plans in limbo

Nov 18, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) warms
Nov 18, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) warms / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Assuming the Patriots remain within the top-3 picks for the 2024 NFL draft, analysts have projected they will take a quarterback, given their obvious need for a signal caller. From Caleb Williams to Drake Maye, most have concluded it's either quarterback or bust for this draft, which, to a degree, makes a lot of sense.

But what if they could get their hands on a game-changing receiver who would universally boost the offense for years to come? Since they'll more than likely not acquire the first overall selection, taking a guy like Marvin Harrison Jr. wouldn't be such a bad fate to behold, right?

Well, the Ohio State wide receiver may have just thrown a wrench in that hypothetical plan.

While speaking to reporters on Thursday afternoon, Harrison revealed he still hadn't decided to declare for the draft or return to his college for another season. He talked about his desire to win a championship, which wasn't accomplished this season, which may ultimately drive him to hold off on the draft for one more year.

"I’m still undecided. You guys know, coming into this year, I wanted to beat ‘The Team Up North’ (Michigan) and win a Big Ten championship. And obviously I didn’t do that this year.

So I think that’s a great motive to come back, if that’s what I decide to do, because that’s something I definitely wanted to do in my Ohio State career. Not being able to have done that yet definitely opens the door for me to come back."

If that ends up being the case, it would force the Patriots to fully immerse themselves in the idea of drafting a quarterback without question.

Maybe that's the best direction for them to go regardless of what Harrison decides, but considering how long they've been in dire need of a wide receiver of his projected caliber, he would almost certainly be the only exception not to take one early come draft time.

But now that possibility appears to be in flux, and the only good thing about it is that it's only December. Harrison has some time to make a final decision, which may bode well for the Patriots. Preferably, it happens sooner rather than later since he has also been a favorite to land in New England, and it would be great to know if that could still be a possibility, even in a mock draft.

However, patience is a virtue, and it's hard not to let that get the best of you when the draft has been the focus for most Patriots fans since October.

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