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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: WR Ja'Marr Chase, LSU

LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase projects as a top-10 draft pick. But should he fall down to the Giants at No. 11, what exactly would they be getting in this talented receiver?

WR JA'MARR CHASE 

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Class: Junior
School: LSU


Heisman Winning quarterback Joe Burrow’s favorite target in LSU’s National Championship 2019 team was Ja’Marr Chase, a former four-star recruit out of Metairie, Louisiana. Chase attended Archbishop Rummel High School and was the 84th ranked player in the 2018 cycle.

Chase’s 2019 campaign was comparable to DeVonta Smith’s 2020 Heisman season. Chase had 84 catches for 1780 yards and 20 touchdowns, and he averaged 21.2 yards per catch.

Chase had 41 plays of 15 yards or more in 2020, and he had 24 more than 20 yards. He won the Biletnikoff Trophy, was a unanimous All-American, and he set the SEC record for touchdowns and yards (both were reset in 2020 by Smith).

LSU gave Chase the coveted No. 7 jersey for 2020, which is awarded to a player based on their intangibles and leadership. Chase never got to wear the jersey on the field because he opted-out of the 2020 season.

Chase has all the making of a franchise-changing type of playmaker, and his leadership is reportedly off the proverbial charts as well.

Notables

He had a severe right knee injury during his senior season at Archbishop Rummel. He elected not to get surgery, and he recovered in six weeks from a partially torn PCL and bone bruises.

Traits

One of my absolute favorite players in the draft. Chase isn’t the biggest receiver, but he plays so much bigger than he measures. Incredibly physical and strong in all areas of playing receiver, and he has very good athletic traits.

He combines excellent balance/control with a great change of direction ability, explosiveness/twitch, acceleration, and very good long speed to get vertical.

He has several good releases that he employs and does a solid job winning at the line of scrimmage with his athletic ability. He stacks very quickly after winning at the line of scrimmage.

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He uses his hand and physicality in an excellent manner at the line of scrimmage, and he’s not an easy player to jam. He keeps his chest clean and imposes his force on defenders who attempt to dictate the line of scrimmage with press—excellent overall play strength.

He runs very good routes, showed polish with his route running ability. He has the bend and agility to make tight turns and not lose much momentum.

I love how he accelerates and bursts in and out of breaks—he has good technique and looks refined in this area. He leans into his breaks to create extra separation at the breakpoint. He has no issue separating with athletic traits.

He always seems to be in control and balanced while showing processing ability as a route runner--he plays against the defense’s leverage, finds openings in zone coverage, and understands how to get open. He shows incredible football intelligence throughout a play to attack the defense.

Superb at tracking, locating, leaping, and securing contested catches—he has magnificent body control/adjustment while in the air.

He uses his frame and body to box out smaller defensive backs and commands the space he inhabits. He has strong hands and contested-catch ability through traffic. He leaps well, showing very good lower body explosiveness—he has incredible ball skills.

He is very physical after the catch—he runs through arm tackles and breaks tackles with ease. He has some shiftiness in space to force defenders to have disadvantage angles, resulting in arm tackles that Chase will easily run through. He is effective anywhere on the field as a receiver and makes an excellent red-zone threat.

There’s not a lot to hate about Ja’Marr Chase’s game. He doesn’t have elite size and athletic ability, but those traits are still more than transferable, with everything else he has going on, for him to be an excellent player in the NFL.

He’s one of the better wide receiver prospects I’ve studied. It’s not a surprise that Clemson’s A.J. Terrell, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs, and Mississippi State’s Cameron Danzler (2020 draft selections, two in the first round) stated that Chase was the most difficult coverage assignment.

Overall, Chase is going to be a difference-maker in the NFL—a player that will make Pro Bowls. Chase is athletic, very physical, has strong hands, and does a great job adjusting his body to make tough contested catches.

There’s just a lot to love about his game. He only had one year of true production because of his 2020 opt-out, but he showed enough in those 14 games to warrant a top 10 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. 


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