Not many people knew who LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. was coming into the 2020 season. Despite catching an impressive 13 touchdowns in 2019, he was still only the fourth option in LSU’s National Championship offense.
But with Justin Jefferson going to (and exploding onto the scene in) the NFL and Ja’Marr Chase opting out of the 2020 season, this was Marshall’s chance to raise his profile and put himself on the map. Unfortunately, LSU also lost star QB Joe Burrow and OC Joe Brady to the NFL, and that high-octane offense cooled off in 2020. But despite a less-explosive offense, Marshall still took a step forward in his junior year, making improvements in his receptions, yards, and yards per catch over the previous season.
The New York Giants definitely need a receiver, so could Marshall be an option if they miss out on their target at the top of the first round? Would he even last to them in the second round?
Prospect: Terrace Marshall Jr.
Games Watched: vs. Alabama (2019), vs. Clemson (2019), vs. South Carolina (2020), vs. Arkansas (2020)
Games Played: 28
Yards (YPC): 1,595 (15.0)
Total Touchdowns: 23
Games Played: 7
Yards (YPC): 731 (15.2)
Total Touchdowns: 10
Best: Size, catch radius, body control, long speed, ball skills
Worst: Agility, play strength
Projection: A starting receiver in a vertical offense.
LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. has good length, speed, ball skills, and body control to play the position at the NFL level.
Marshall aligned at multiple positions on the LSU offense, playing the X, flanker, and slot receiver positions. He wastes little time getting into his route against zone coverage and has a solid release against man coverage. Marshall flashes the ability to use his footwork and tempo to disrupt corners’ timing early in the route, creating a moment of hesitation and separation early in his routes. He gets up to speed quickly, with a long, gliding stride that gives him deceptive long speed down the field.
Marshall has a relatively diverse route tree and is capable of executing from each of the alignments he played. He shows very good ball skills, locating, tracking, and adjusting to the ball well. Marshall is a natural “hands” catcher who routinely extends to attack the ball at its highest point, and has the body control to expand his catch radius and make difficult plays.
He also offers some upside after the catch. Marshall has good vision to track defenders and find voids in the defense, while his speed can make him difficult to catch in the open field.
Marshall is a tough and competitive run blocker, but not a very good one. He is, ultimately, a rather slightly built receiver, and he lacks the play strength to be an effective run blocker against most defensive backs. He also lacks great technique, which is further hindered by his height compromising leverage as a blocker.
Marshall’s height works against him on sharply breaking routes as well. He can need a moment or extra steps to gather himself at the top of routes before breaking sharply, giving defenders the opportunity to stay with him. Likewise, while he gets up to speed quickly, he isn’t exactly explosive and doesn’t have a great burst out of his breaks.
Overall Grade: 8.5 - This prospect has starting upside and position versatility, but also has some slight schematic limitations.
Marshall projects as a starting wide receiver in the NFL. He would likely be best in a vertical offense and his best alignment will likely depend on the exact demands of his future offense.
Marshall has the ability to win and produce from any alignment, but offensive coordinators will likely want to limit the number of sharply breaking routes they ask him to run. While he isn’t exactly bad at them, he is much better when allowed to carry his speed through the route. Marshall has the potential to be a moveable piece who can be used to attack shorter or slower defensive backs.
Marshall is a reliable receiver with very good ball skills, allowing him to play the role of possession receiver, to stretch the field as a big-play threat, or to high-point the ball in red zone situations.
It’s somewhat unfortunate that the regression of LSU’s passing game (due to the departure of Joe Burrow and a shift in offensive philosophy) coincided with Marshall’s opportunity to showcase his ability without Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase to compete for a share of the offense. But that could be to the benefit of teams hoping to get him on at a high value on the second day of the draft.