2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: WR Terrace Marshall, Jr, LSU

Terrace Marshall is a prospect some envision for the Giants if he's there in the second round. Nick Falato breaks down what makes Marshall so special.
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WR TERRACE MARSHALL JR 

Height: 6'3"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Class: Junior
School: LSU


The number one ranked Louisiana recruit in the 2018 cycle and a five-star prospect, the 287th all-time ranked recruit, according to 247 Sports. He attended Parkway High School in Bossier City, Louisiana. A bit outshined at LSU by Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase, but Marshall Jr. has some very good qualities. He is the great-nephew of former NFL player Joe Delaney who died attempting to rescue three children from drowning in a pond.

Before the Alabama game, Marshall Jr. played in seven 2020 games before opting out to focus on the NFL Draft. He had 48 catches for 783 yards and ten touchdowns in his junior year and 46 catches for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns in his 2019 sophomore season. He was only the featured receiver for that short 2020 season.

Notables

He had a season-ending ankle injury in his senior season at Parkway High School. It took a while for him to get fully healthy in his freshman season because of his high school injury. He missed three games with a fractured foot in 2019.

Traits

He has excellent size and speed combination. Marshall Jr. was known as the forgotten third receiving option behind Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase on Joe Burrow’s 2019 National Championship team, but he shouldn’t be slept on. Marshall Jr. is tall, a bit thin, and has great athletic ability--moves well laterally, is flexible, and has good explosiveness.

Marshall Jr. is long and could probably carry an extra 10-15 pounds without sacrificing his speed. I don’t love his stance before the snap; it’s too high, and he’s not in an explosive, ready-to-burst type of stance. Once the ball is snapped, Marshall Jr. wastes a paltry amount of time by re-sinking himself and exploding out of his stance--milliseconds could be saved if his stance was already explosive before the snap.

Other than that, he has good releases off the line of scrimmage, and he does a solid job using his hands to help defeat press with adequate strength. He fires his feet and stacks quickly when square, showing good bend in his hips and ability to dip, get lateral, then quickly get vertical to challenge cornerbacks and stack.

It runs some smooth routes but does take a bit too long to decelerate into comebacks and curls--footwork can get a bit choppy on those vertical stop routes.

Marshall Jr. has dangerous deep speed and receiving skills. His quick ability to win and stack at the line of scrimmage, combined with his long strides and explosive traits, forces fear into defensive backs with tighter hips. He burst out of breaks isn’t elite, but he creates more than enough separation with his athletic ability, which isn’t overly common for receivers of his size.

He uses his long arms to pluck balls away from his frame--has a great catch radius. He had too many concentration drops in 2020 (7 out of 55 catchable balls), but he’s shown the ability to make tough contested hands and catches over the middle of the field. He adjusts his body well to the football when in the air. Can climb the ladder and secure passes that other receivers just don’t have the opportunity to reach.

Joe Burrow played football in an extempore manner, and Marshall Jr. adapted well by finding space and openings in the defense--good mental processing ability. Has very good spatial awareness when attacking defender’s leverage or finding voids in zone coverage. He is elusive in space for a bigger receiver; uses subtle upper body movements, and is twitchy enough to make more reckless defenders miss their tackle attempts.

He played on the boundary in his first two years - was productive when healthy, and then he took over Justin Jefferson’s slot role in 2020, where he was productive as well (without Joe Burrow). Could be a better blocker, and his motor was a bit hot and cold with this--hotter in 2019 than 2020. He isn’t a liability as a blocker; I just want to see a bit more consistency.

Overall, Marshall Jr. has a ton of upside that may not have been reached quite yet. He’s tall, long, fast, flexible, and can win at the line of scrimmage. He can be a prototypical “X” on the line of scrimmage or a big slot.

He’s not the quickest in and out of breaks, especially ones that are not horizontally based, and his stance pre-snap could use some work to maximize optimal timing, but he’s very intriguing for many reasons. He should be an early Day 2 pick.


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