It is rare for any school to have two players in the top 10 of any position group in the same draft class. Considering the NFL is generally comprised of the top one percent of college players, having two players at the same position at the top of the depth chart is impressive.
Having three is an embarrassment of riches.
That is what Ole Miss enjoyed with DaMarkus Lodge, A.J. Brown, and D.K. Metcalf. Three receivers who should be starting in the NFL in 2019. And while Brown and Metcalf have gotten most of the recognition, Lodge is a talented receiver in his own right who could turn heads throughout the remainder of the draft process and as a professional.
That depth, and variety, of talent is good news for the New York Giants, who could use a deep threat, a third receiver, and a potential replacement for Sterling Shepard.
Could Lodge fill one or more of those potential needs for the Giants?
- Deep threat with strong acceleration off the line of scrimmage and a top gear to stretch defenses.
- Does a good job of varying stride length to throw off CBs’ timing.
- Quick feet and long speed make him dangerous after the catch.
- Has the physical tools to be a weapon outside at the next level.
- Typically gets a strong release off the line of scrimmage.
- Willing and physical blocker for his teammates.
- Route tree is limited by his role in Ole Miss’ offensive scheme.
- Hands are inconsistent.
- Didn’t produce against most talented opponents, or always produce up to his physical tools.
What They’re Saying
DaMarkus Lodge is the least heralded of the three Ole Miss wide receivers, but if you told me in a few years he’d be the best of the group, I wouldn’t be surprised. Lodge is the most polished and pro-ready of the trio, from his bevy of releases against press coverage to his body control along the boundary and his blocking on the perimeter. The peak plays from Lodge are incredible, due to both his exceptional ball skills and blazing speed, but he has to become a more consistent finisher in the air and cut down on the drops. There will also be a learning curve for him as a route runner thanks to Ole Miss’ system, but Lodge has all the traits and refined technique to reach a tremendous peak in the NFL.
- Jon Ledyard (The Draft Network - Scouting Report)
Does He Fit The Giants?
If the Giants are looking to expand their vertical passing game and find a third receiver who can stretch the field and potentially grow into something more, then Lodge is a solid option.
He might be somewhat limited initially in the Giants’ offense because of the importance of precision route running within the structure of the various route concepts. It isn’t that Lodge is a poor route runner, but rather that he is inexperienced after being primarily a vertical option in Ole Miss’ offense. He also struggles with his consistency catching the ball on occasion, and that could be exacerbated has he concentrates on learning a more varied route tree. Lodge excelled at creating highlight reel catches, hauling in passes he had no business catching or hanging on to. But then he would also let routine catches slip through his fingers. That might be a case of needing to develop more consistency in his concentration.
Assuming Lodge is able to maximize his tools, build a varied route tree, and fix his concentration issues, he could be a high floor, high ceiling player at the next level. For the Giants the question might be whether they want to deviate from their (primarily) short and intermediate passing attack enough to target Lodge on the second day of the draft.