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Prospect Preview: Terrace Marshall Jr.

Prospect Preview: Terrace Marshall Jr.

Position: WRWeight: 205
College: LSUAge: 20
Height: 6′ 3″247 Rating: 5 Stars (0.9930)

By: Nate Christian (@NateNFL)

The Rundown:

With Terrace Marshall gaining first round hype going into the NFL Draft, we have to talk about another LSU receiving prospect. Justin Jefferson ($3,280,701) and Ja’Marr Chase were both top prospects and Marshall has been gaining similar hype. He’s got the length, speed, and production for a lot of fans and teams to be excited. Is the hype worth it?

College Production:

A 5-star prospect coming out of high school, Marshall didn’t really get on the field as a freshman. But his sophomore year with Joe Burrow ($9,047,534) he started really making an impact. He missed a couple games with a foot injury, but in the 12 games he played he caught 46 balls for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns. An impressive breakout season, he carried similar numbers in 2020 with a much worse LSU offense. In seven games as the de facto number one receiver, Marshall caught 48 balls for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns. After putting up those numbers, he decided to opt-out of the remaining games to focus on the NFL Draft.

Strengths:

  • Athleticism
    • Marshall blew us all away with his pro day this year, where he ran a 4.40 40-Yard Dash and jumped 39” in the vertical. This goes along with his already impressive 6’ 3” frame and we’re looking at a player who has all the physical tools to dominate. There’s a reason he was a 5-star recruit in high school and was able to make an impact as a sophomore on that historic 2019 LSU team.
  • Length
    • With his long arms and impressive vertical, Marshall is able to constantly win on 50/50 balls. He has good enough hands to work outside of his frame and catch the ball over defenders. While I wouldn’t call him a jump-ball specialist, he was able to dominate in that area in college and should continue to be a safety blanket for a quarterback in the pros.
  • Versatility
    • LSU was smart and used Marshall both outside and in the slot, and it was incredible. As an outside target, Marshall worked down the field, won on contested catches, and moved the chains. When lined up in the slot, he got free releases, got behind the defense, and was a constant threat across the middle of the field. This versatility is important for modern NFL offenses which are trying to come at defenses with so many different looks and patterns now. Marshall can be moved around to exploit matchups.

Weaknesses:

  • Lack of YAC
    • While he does have good speed and can get down the field when there’s green grass, Marshall doesn’t offer a lot of elusiveness or tackle-breaking ability after the catch. He has a good frame and enough strength to work through small cornerbacks in the open field, but overall, he’s not going to create a ton of yards with the ball in his hands.
  • Average Route Running
    • Marshall didn’t run a very varied route tree in college, he was used mostly on go routes and short crossing routes. He wasn’t able to create a lot of separation out of his breaks and his cuts were more often rounded than not. He’s certainly not a bad route runner, as he showed good pacing and the ability to find soft spots in zone coverage, but this is one area he could improve upon at the next level.

Things to Watch:

There are some injury concerns with Marshall. He had a bad leg break in high school and has had a major ankle and foot injuries. Nothing currently stands out in his profile to suggest they will affect him going forward, or that he’s injury prone, but when talking about first round picks in the NFL Draft, teams do their due diligence and are allowed to nitpick.

Projected Round/Contract:

Near the end of the first round, we’ll be waiting to see if Marshall is picked up by one of the playoff teams that need a receiver. If not, I’d expect him to go early in the second round. This draft capital will give him a similar contract to Tee Higgins ($2,171,696) last year who signed a 4-year deal worth $8,686,785.

Team Fits:

There are a couple teams at the back of the first who stick out for possible landing spots for a wide receiver. In Marshall’s case, I think there’s a very good chance the Baltimore Ravens take a chance on him at either of their picks. The team needs to surround Lamar Jackson ($2,367,912) with more weapons and Marshall would be a great addition to that offense. He’s a big bodied receiver who offers a different style of plan than their current receivers. He has the versatility to play inside and outside and has the size to be a good run blocker. Perhaps the best asset that Marshall brings to the table that goes with the Ravens is his red zone prowess. Outside of Mark Andrews ($863,290) this is one area the team could certainly improve.

While it might not be the obvious landing spot for Marshall, I think there’s a team that could take a chance on him if he’s still on the board. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have brought back every starter on both sides of the ball and are in a position to take the best player available when it gets to their pick. Receiver may not be a big need for them, but Chris Godwin ($15,983,000) is playing on the franchise tag and might be gone in a year. The team wants to give Tom Brady ($25,000,000) plenty of weapons to go out there and try to repeat and Marshall would be an incredible WR3 for the team. He also gets compared to Godwin often, and could be a great player to step in next year as the replacement.

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