2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Terrace Marshall

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Today we are looking at LSU WR Terrace Marshall. Marshall burst onto the scene for the Tigers in 2020 following two solid seasons as a promising secondary option, amassing 48 receptions for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns in just 7 games before opting out of the remainder of the season in late November.

Strengths: Marshall is a very well-rounded receiver prospect. At 6’3” and 200 lbs, Marshall possesses good size, which he uses to his advantage in contested catch situations, displaying good ability to locate the ball, leap, and secure the catch. He possesses solid sideline awareness to magnify his ability to win a contested ball. Marshall displays good route-running, and noticeably improved in this area in 2020. His releases are solid, displaying effective footwork to beat press coverage. He has solid quickness and sneaky, underrated speed. Pairing this with good tracking of the football, Marshall poses a deep threat to defenses. After the catch, he has some surprising wiggle to pick up extra yards. Marshall was stuck behind Justin Jefferson and J’Marr Chase in 2019, but in 2020 he completely fulfilled expectations of being LSU’s star number one wide receiver when the former left for the NFL and the latter opted out, with a very productive stretch of games despite commanding a lot of attention from defenses. 

Weaknesses: Marshall lacks experience, as his shortened 2020 season was his only one as a starter. This makes his decision to opt out mid-season strange, especially considering he reportedly did not give head coach Ed Orgeron much notice. While displaying good quickness and speed, he is not the most sudden off the line of scrimmage. Like many tall receivers, he is more of a long strider who builds up momentum. This limits his route running, which could be better if he could be more explosive and sudden in and out of his breaks. This does sometimes looks like a lack of urgency in his playing style, making it tough to distinguish. He could also work better with his scrambling quarterback when the play breaks down than he currently does. His hands are solid, but he does have some drops sometimes as a result of looking upfield before securing the catch. Marshall needs to be more physical as a run blocker, since his size should be an advantage in this area yet there are instances of the defender popping him. 

Bottom Line: Marshall overall possesses quickness, speed, route running, run after the catch ability, and hands that qualify as good but not great. He has no significant weakness though, and given the strong correlation between being a well-rounded receiver and making an impact early in the NFL, this bodes well for Marshall. Given that he is not really special in any category, his potential is capped, but I expect him to contribute early despite his inexperience and develop into a high-end WR2 as he accumulates reps and coaching. 

Projection: Late day 1 to mid day 2. Like many WRs, Marshall’s draft stock will be affected by how he tests at the NFL combine, so I think his draft range really is this wide depending on if he exceeds expectations or not.

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