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C.J. Stroud is having a hard time understanding how Marvin Harrison won't be the first wide receiver taken in the upcoming NFL Draft. Stroud has thrown passes to Harrison for several seasons at Ohio State, knowing firsthand how dominant Harrison can be when the ball is in his hands. 

Stroud isn't showing disrespect toward Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze, two wide receivers who could potentially go ahead of Harrison. He just knows Harrison is the best receiver in the 2024 draft class, and potentially the best player. 

"Why should it be 'Marv'? Put on the tape," Stroud said at media availability during Phase 1 of offseason workouts, via a Texans transcript. "He's done it from really his freshman year, his true freshman year, to now. 

"When you talk about -- I think I read something like he's NFL ready, but other guys have more potential. That makes no sense. Like, what? If you're 'NFL ready,' how is that not potential?"

When it comes down to it, Stroud has some simple advice: "Whoever's up there man, be smart. Don't be dumb. Don't think too hard," Stroud said.

Harrison was dominant in his two years as a starter at Ohio State, especially in his sophomore season with Stroud. He caught 77 passes for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns, a consensus All-American while leading the Big Ten in touchdown catches. 

Without Stroud in 2023, the numbers were still good. Harrison won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for being the top wide receiver in the country, catching 67 passes for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns (18.1 yards per catch). This was with the revolving door at quarterback at Ohio State. 

Harrison was also an All-American (again) and fourth in Heisman Trophy voting. Stroud can't see how a team would pass on Harrison in favor of another receiver, especially with what Harrison has accomplished in his college career.

Doesn't hurt his father, Marvin Harrison Sr., was one of the best wide receivers ever. 

"You want longevity, you want somebody who has been doing it. For him, that's what he sleeps, eats and breathes. He's a worthy talent, but his work ethic and how he gravitates that room," Stroud said. "I challenged him that last year when Jaxon [Smith-Njigba] went down, he had to take over as leader, and he did that."

Stroud wants that opportunity to play with Harrison again. Perhaps someday the two will reunite, especially after Stroud helped Harrison become a complete player in their two years together. 

"He's not really vocal, but he became vocal, and you can see his personality start to come out as he started to play more. For me, I think I would love to play with him again," Stroud said. "I probably won't get that opportunity for a while, but I'm super proud of him."