2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Terrace Marshall Jr.
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: The 2019 LSU Tigers enjoyed a dream season that put together a legendary offense led by Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. An unsung hero of their point-machine offense was Marshall, who, despite being the third receiver, did some major damage in limited opportunities - the majority of passes went to Chase and Jefferson. In 2019, Marshall caught 46 passes for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns en route to the National Championship.
With that group off to the NFL, Marshall took over as the Tigers' No. 1 receiver in 2020, but he had to play with multiple quarterbacks and the offense took a big step back due to also losing offensive line talent to the NFL. The junior totaled 48 receptions for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns across seven games before ending his season early. In a normal season with just an average quarterback, Marshall could have produced a massive year because he was playing at a very high level.
There is a lot to like for Marshall as a potential starter in the NFL. He has good height and is fast. While Marshall is more of a build-up speed receiver, he stretches defense vertically and can really challenge defenses downfield. In the deep portion, Marshall's speed catches defensive backs by surprise, and he can create separation for big play.
Marshall's smooth speed and size make him difficult to cover, and he is a real threat to score or produce a big gain on any reception. After the catch, Marshall is a tough runner who will use his size to break tackles, and he has a nose for the end zone. As a pro, he should be a quality red-zone weapon. Marshall could be an outside receiver or work out of the slot as a Z.
Like the vast majority of prospects, Marshall has points of improvement to develop as a pro. He needs to improve his route running, and he did not run the entire route tree at LSU. Thus, Marshall will need to work on his route running and improve his technique as a route runner to make up for his lack of twitch and suddenness coming out of breaks. Marshall does not have bad hands, but they're not good either, and he could stand to improve his reliability for the NFL level.
In the 2021 NFL Draft, a survey of team sources said they thought Marshall would go on the second day and he has a shot at going in the second round. Marshall looks like he could develop into a good starter and has the potential to be an excellent No. 2 receiver.
Player Comparison: Tyrell Williams Marshall and Williams (6-4, 205) are almost identical in size and have the speed to challenge defenses downfield. Williams went undrafted after falling under the radar at Western Oregon, but he had some good seasons with the Chargers. In the NFL, I could see Marshall being similar to Williams and having the upside to be a better version.
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