LSU Football Pre Free Agency 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Can both Ja'Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall land in the first round?
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Over the last several weeks, we've learned little by little through various interviews and reporting about each LSU player's draft stock and potentially interested teams of each prospect.  

Ja'Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall, Jabril Cox and JaCoby Stevens are all virtual locks to hear their names called in April's draft. Before the free agency period begins on March 17, we thought it'd be prudent to run through a mock draft designating the best possible landing spot for each player.

Ja'Marr Chase (No. 5 overall- Cincinnati Bengals)

This one is likely every LSU fan's dream. Reuniting Chase with former quarterback Joe Burrow would give the Bengals offense instant star power alongside Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon. 

The two connected for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns during the 2019 season. Burrow himself, who's still recovering from a brutal knee injury suffered in his rookie season, has talked about what it'd be like to play with Chase at the next level. 

"I'd love to play with Ja'Marr. He's a great player," Burrow said. "We're still in contact all the time. We talk every now and then. He's a great dude and a great player. I'd love to have him on the team."

The only problem is that the Bengals have so many other positions of need, none more so than replenishing the offensive line. But if they address that position during free agency, it might free the team up to take the best prospect available come April 29.

Terrace Marshall (No. 29 overall-Green Bay Packers)

There's no doubt that the Packers need to give Aaron Rodgers some more help on the outside. It was expected last season that the organization would take a receiver but instead elected to choose Rodgers apparent successor. 

Marshall would be the perfect complement to Davante Adams on the outside and work his way up as a No. 2 receiver in no time. What makes him a truly special talent is not just his 6-foot-4 frame but rather how he uses his body. 

In the last two seasons as a starting outside receiver, Marshall hauled in 94 catches with 23 of them going for touchdowns. That one of every four catches he made in his career was for a score. Being that redzone threat for the Packers and taking some of that pressure off of Adams could do wonders for opening up that offense. 

Jabril Cox (No. 51 overall-Washington Football Team)

The one year LSU linebacker was one of the team's best defensive players during an unforgettable season for all of the wrong reasons. Once projected to be a potential first round pick in the preseason, LSU's dismal performance no doubt affected Cox's draft stock to some degree but he seemed to turn some heads at the Senior Bowl a few weeks back.

LSU's senior linebacker jumped off the screen time and time again and while no stats were provided at the game on the defensive end, Cox did at one point lead both teams in tackles. One national draft analyst, Matt Miller, believes that Cox has exponentially improved his draft stock, calling him a top 40 prospect by week's end. 

Cox potentially landing in Washington is an interesting fit as that defense proved to be one of the most improved units in the league during the 2020 season. Adding a dynamic playmaker in the middle of the field like Cox could help vault the Washington defense under Ron Rivera to one of the best in the entire NFL. It runs a 4-3 which Cox is very much accustomed to as it really fits his strengths as an inside linebacker.

JaCoby Stevens (No. 87 overall- New York Jets)

Figuring out a prime destination for Stevens is difficult because it depends on what position he gravitates towards at the next level. He could likely play safety or linebacker though being a hybrid kind of player, much like he was at LSU seems to be the most appealing fit for LSU's No. 7 in 2020. 

He recently spoke about which position makes the most sense for him and essentially said that he'd be able to play both if that's what the team needs. Stevens also listed the Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts as the teams he had the best connection with during the interview process.

"I have the perfect size and capabilities to play safety or linebacker. We sit here and we talk about certain other guys saying they’re willing to play safety, but when you look at their film they never played the middle of the field before," Stevens told The Spun. You kinda just go back down and say they’re a linebacker. As for me, I can play middle of the field safety, in the slot against tight ends, and in the box. It doesn’t matter, I’ll do whatever the team needs."

Stevens falling to the Jets makes sense as the organization has a familiarity with using a player like Stevens close to the line of scrimmage and also in coverage on tight ends. It's a hybrid role that Jamal Adams excelled in before he was traded and while Stevens isn't quite the athlete of Adams, he's similarly built and loves to play close to the line of scrimmage much like Adams.