2021 NFL Draft: With Ja’Marr Chase out, Terrace Marshall set for big year

2021 NFL Draft prospect Terrace Marshall Jr. #6 of the LSU Tigers (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Terrace Marshall Jr. #6 of the LSU Tigers (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall will have an opportunity to raise his 2021 NFL Draft stock in a big way this season.

Terrace Marshall Jr. was already in a great position to take his 2021 NFL Draft stock to the next level this season. With Justin Jefferson and Clyde Edwards-Helaire moving on to the NFL, Marshall stood out as the clear number two option in the offense behind star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Now, with Chase deciding to opt-out of the 2020 season to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, Marshall will have even more of an opportunity to make a mark for LSU this year.

The LSU offense is sure to look much different this season. No Chase, Jefferson and Edwards-Helaire is just the tip of the iceberg. The Tigers will also be looking to replace Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, many key offensive linemen and starting tight end Thad Moss. Passing game coordinator Joe Brady also moved on to the NFL this offseason and he was clearly an important part of putting together their new offensive attack.

NFL veteran coach Scott Linehan was brought in to replace Brady and junior quarterback Myles Brennan is in line to take over for Burrow. This offense is still in good shape and Marshall suddenly stands out as their featured playmaker on that side of the ball.

Marshall is coming off of a 2019 season where he hauled in 46 receptions for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns. He started all 12 games that he was available last season but missed three games with a mid-season foot injury. Even though Marshall was able to return and make an impact for LSU, Burrow clearly built a strong rapport with Chase and Jefferson in his absence, leaving little opportunity for Marshall later in the season.

Size and speed for days

Marshall is listed at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and he uses his size extremely well on the outside. He is a big and powerful receiver who plays through contact extremely well and does a great job of competing for the ball in the air. Marshall is great against physical press coverage and is a fantastic jump ball weapon in the red zone.

While his size immediately stands out on tape, we would be foolish to sleep on Marshall’s speed. He does a great job of getting a clean release off of the line of scrimmage, is smooth in and out of his breaks and has the speed to legitimately test the defense vertically. Once Marshall gets a step, it is typically game over. It would take special speed to catch Marshall in the open field.

While Marshall is still a bit of an underdeveloped talent, there is no denying his upside at the next level. Guys with his kind of size and speed combination simply do not come around often. His ability to naturally separate against man coverage is just the cherry on the top.

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With a ton of opportunity coming his way this season, Marshall is undoubtedly in a great position to improve his 2021 NFL Draft stock in the coming months. While he is likely a Day 2 pick at this point in the process, do not be surprised if Marshall enters the first-round conversation soon. Even in this loaded class of wide receivers, Marshall has a chance to stand out in a big way.