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How Does ESPN's Mel Kiper View the LSU Football Picks Post 2021 NFL Draft

Many LSU picks praised as good value selections by one of top NFL draft experts

With seven players off to the NFL, draft grades and pick evaluations are starting pour in and a number of LSU's players were viewed as positive picks for their new NFL teams. Not only is talent a factor for the team that selects a given player but the fit is often what is criticized post draft.

On Monday, ESPN's Mel Kiper released his draft grades for all 32 teams and the LSU picks were universally praised by one of the league's top draft experts. 

Cincinnati Bengals- Ja'Marr Chase (WR), Tyler Shelvin (DT)

The Bengals loaded up on LSU players for a second straight draft class, adding Chase and Shelvin to join Joe Burrow and Thaddeus Moss in Cincinnati. Chase figures to immediately step in and be a no doubt starter with pro bowl potential in a now stacked Bengals offense. Shelvin's role is a little more unclear but he should be valuable in stopping the run while he develops as a pass rusher. 

Kiper was certainly on board with both picks, mainly because the Bengals were able to find some good value on the offensive line throughout the draft to help Burrow.

"Burrow now has Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon as good -- and young -- playmakers around him. This is a group that can grow together and should terrify defensive coordinators.I don't see how Chase fails in the NFL, barring injury, which means this long-term grade for this class could come down to whether [Jackson] Carman turns into a quality starter.

"Tyler Shelvin (122) is a massive two-down nose tackle

Carolina Panthers- Terrace Marshall (WR)

Marshall landing in Carolina was an ideal landing spot for the former LSU receiver. Not only does he join forces with former coach Joe Brady, but he joins an offense that needs help in the redzone. 

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Kiper was positive about the pick, mainly because it gives new quarterback Sam Darnold an extra weapon for a team that struggled with drops a season ago in Brady's first year with the team. 

"They also showed a commitment to helping Darnold with three Day 2 picks on offense. Terrace Marshall Jr. (59) reunites with offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who helped scheme up one of the best offenses in college football history at LSU in 2019. The Panthers' receivers struggled with drops last season, and Marshall is a nice No. 3 option."

Dallas Cowboys- Jabril Cox (LB)

The Cowboys went defense heavy with their 2021 draft selections, including fellow linebacker Micah Parsons. But Cox is another versatile defensive player and made his mark as a playmaker at North Dakota State and at LSU. 

"They added to the off-ball linebacker group on Day 3 with Jabril Cox (115), who has some coverage traits. In total, the Cowboys added eight defenders in this class, though they reached for a couple of them."

Philadelphia Eagles- JaCoby Stevens (S, LB)

While at LSU, Stevens was dominant close to the line of scrimmage as a hybrid safety who could rush the passer and cover tight ends and running backs out of the slot.

From a physical perspective, Stevens appears a lot closer to linebacker than a true safety. He has lined up everywhere from single high to SAM linebacker on a snap-to-snap basis.

Don’t let his looks fool you; Stevens is a gifted athlete who covers a lot of ground for a player his size. He was incredibly productive over the last two seasons of his career, collecting 155 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, eight sacks, three interceptions and 10 passes defensed. 

"JaCoby Stevens (224) is a versatile safety who was asked to play all over the field for the LSU defense."