Ja’Marr Chase appears out of reach for the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round. Moving on. Maybe to his “big, explosive” teammate at LSU who plays the same position.
Terrace Marshall (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) raised his draft stock considerably last week after wowing during his pro day . He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds (same as Chase) while overachieving in the vertical jump (39) and broad jump (10.5). His 78 1/8-inch wingspan was off the charts, too.
Marshall was already a popular Day 2 pick thanks to his 10 touchdowns in seven games last year at LSU. He finished with 48 receptions for 731 yards (15.2 yards-per-catch) after taking over the slot receiver role from Justin Jefferson. Now he may have vaulted himself into the late first round.
According to NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt , Marshall has been “talking to the Eagles a lot” and could be the perfect alternative to missing out on Chase. Remember, Alabama stud receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are also expected to be off the board when the Eagles pick at No. 12.
Philadelphia holds four picks in the first three rounds: No. 12, No. 37, No. 70, No. 84. They could easily package one of those third-rounders and get up a few spots if they really wanted to draft Marshall. The 20-year-old left LSU as one of only six players in school history with at 1,500 receiving yards and 20 scores.
Eagles have had a lot of talks with LSU WR Terrace Marshall, according to @KyleBrandt .
At 6’3″, only 20 years old, and a recent 4.38 forty to back up his on-tape quickness and burst, he presents a high-upside and different type WR than Eagles already have.#Eagles pic.twitter.com/0BxTVE8Vcg
— Thomas R. Petersen 🦅 (@thomasrp93) April 7, 2021
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Marshall Has Versatility, Outside or Inside
Marshall lined up primarily in the slot during his junior year at LSU, but he’s not a one-trick pony. LSU placed him on the inside since they had a wealth of riches at the receiver position and he quickly became a matchup nightmare over the middle of the field. Marshall’s size alone dictates he should play on the outside, something the Louisiana native admitted when talking to reporters last week.
“The versatility to play inside and out and be able to produce the same amount of numbers,” Marshall said when asked about his best trait, via Eagle Maven . “You’re just going to be getting a great teammate overall and a hard worker — if not the hardest in the room, but one of the hardest in the receiving room. And you’re going to get that dog, someone who will take advantage of the opportunities he’s given.”
From the #LSU Pro Day, DB Kary Vincent talks about how playing against Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Terrace Marshall have helped him improve.
“Being able to compete against those guys, it just boosts my confidence and reassures me that I’m ready for the next level.” pic.twitter.com/97mmGnkYEG
— Picks for Pace (@PicksForPace) April 1, 2021
His detractors might point out that Chase opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. While it’s true Marshall benefited from his absence — more targets, more shaded coverage — it’s a bit unfair to hold that against him. He eventually opted out himself in November, only after catching 10 touchdowns in seven games. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com dropped the following scouting report:
He’s a natural ball-tracker with a second gear and the catch radius to go get it, and his size gives him an advantage on 50-50 balls. For all of his talent, Marshall seemed disinterested at times in 2020 and wasn’t always committed to finishing his routes or running them with consistent intensity. There are traits and talent at his disposal, but the difference between becoming a WR2 and a WR3/4 could be determined by how hard he’s willing to work at his craft.
Highest catch % on contested targets since 2018 among 2021 Draft WRs: (min. 40 contested targets)
🐅Terrace Marshall – 61.0% pic.twitter.com/1MqB2ofQjd
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 12, 2021
Eagles GM Howie Roseman Not Tipping Hand
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman wouldn’t take the bait last month when asked if he might take a quarterback in this year’s draft. The franchise needs a third-stringer to roster behind Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco, so a late-round flier on a developmental player (see: Ian Book or Shane Buechele) could be an option there.
However, Roseman was quick to point out that he likes to see competition at every position. It will be up to new head coach Nick Sirianni to make it work.
“This is a competitive league with talented players at every position,” Roseman told reporters on March 18. “You certainly have to be playing at a top level to be successful in this league. Whether it’s the quarterback position or any position that we may have some players at, we need to build depth, we need to get really good players, especially at the priority positions for our football team.”