With as many as nine players hoping to hear their names called during the 2021 NFL Draft later this month, some of the Tigers top prospects are busy preparing and speaking with plenty of NFL organizations interested in their talents.
Longtime NFL coach Jim Mora knows the pre draft process better than most and was watching as some of the top prospects blew NFL clubs away at the 2021 pro day. Because of the success at last week's event, Mora could see as many as five LSU players going in the first three rounds of the 2021 draft. Here is where
"I could see five guys going in the first three rounds. I consider first, second, third round early. That's an amazing accomplishment so I'm excited for those guys," Mora said.
Ja'Marr Chase (Cincinnati Bengals)
Chase to the Bengals has been hammered home so much this offseason but it makes the most sense. A bona fide top 10 pick in this year's draft, Chase winding up with his old buddy and teammate Joe Burrow just makes logical sense, particularly with Cincinnati in the market for a receiver.
To add further fuel to this fire, Burrow has reportedly been pushing for the Bengals to draft Chase with their first round draft selection, which is currently No. 5 overall. A recent draft trade moved the San Francisco 49ers up to the No. 3 pick and with the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons all looking at different positions, there's a solid chance Chase is available when Cincinnati comes on the board.
This is a team that could also use an upgrade on the offensive line so that could also be the move with this pick but in the meantime, it's nice to dream about a potential Burrow-Chase reunion.
Mora's Thoughts: "I'm excited to see where Ja'Marr goes. I think the big thing with him is do the Bengals take him at No. 5 or do they Sewell. I know that's a debate they're having in Cincinnati. Do we get an offensive tackle that can play here for 15 years that protects Joe Burrow or do we take Chase and get a functional offensive linemen later in the draft? Everytime he touches the ball he can go to the endzone. My gut feeling is they take Ja'Marr Chase at No. 5."
Terrace Marshall (Baltimore Ravens)
Marshall was always on that fringe of the first round but with his 6-foot-4 frame and equally impressive 4.38 40-yard dash times, Mora sees Marshall going anywhere in the 20s, a ringing endorsement for a player who could fall to a number of teams looking for receivers that could compete for a championship.
The Ravens could use another vertical threat at receiver and Marshall would be a potential big play and redzone option for a passing offense that struggled at times under Lamar Jackson.
Mora's Thoughts: "You talk about a perfect landing spot for him, the Baltimore Ravens need a wide receiver. If he's sitting there when the Ravens pick, I'd be surprised if they don't take him. He fits what they like to do in Baltimore and gives Lamar another weapon, he's a guy that goes right there."
Jabril Cox (Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans)
Cox was incredibly productive in his lone season with the Tigers, racking up 58 tackles and three interceptions. A 23-year-old with championship experience, albeit at North Dakota State, Cox is an experienced, intelligent player who could be an anchor for the middle of this defense down the line.
He's an athletic, versatile linebacker who showed the ability to cover tight ends and slot receivers at times and impressed at the Senior Bowl last month.
Mora's Thoughts: "Jabril Cox is just a tremendous athlete and moves so well in space for his size. He's probably not a first round pick but a second round pick, mid 50s. Miami, Tennessee, I think he'd be great with the Rams and what they like to do defensively with Raheem Morris."
JaCoby Stevens (Los Angeles Rams, Denver Broncos)
Stevens is an interesting case as he never truly had the speed to be a deep cover safety while at LSU, but he had a ton of success close to the line of scrimmage. He adopted the role of a playmaker and almost a hybrid linebacker while at LSU, which is where he could transition to in the NFL.
Holding a third or fourth round grade, Stevens could be a valuable piece for any team that has a clear vision for him. While at LSU, Stevens recorded 9.5 sacks, 21.5 tackles for a loss and four interceptions. The Rams had one of the best defenses in the NFL last season and with a new quarterback in town in Matthew Stafford, will be looking to compete for a Super Bowl berth in 2021.
Mora's Thoughts: "I think the Rams might be a spot for him. I think the Broncos makes a lot of sense. They do a great job of mixing personnel and putting players in position to have success. Whoever drafts him has to have a plan. We've seen what he can do but they need a Plan A and a Plan B. People are playing with undersized linebackers right now because of the passing game."