NFL Draft Receiver Rankings: No. 5 – Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU

Terrace Marshall's family believes the big-play receiver is the reincarnation of the late, great Joe Delaney.
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With Davante Adams, the Green Bay Packers have one of the NFL’s premier receivers. The supporting cast isn’t great and lacks a pure slot threat, but Allen Lazard brings size and physicality, Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a premier deep threat and Devin Funchess is back after being a COVID opt-out. While Adams presumably will be given a contract extension, Valdes-Scantling, Funchess and Equanimeous St. Brown will be unrestricted free agents at this time next year. That means Green Bay, at least, needs to add a receiver or two to get ready for what could be an offseason of change in 2022. Note: In the 16 drafts conducted by Ted Thompson and Brian Gutekunst, Randall Cobb was the shortest receiver selected at 5-foot-10 1/4. Thus, any receiver shorter than 5-foot-10 (no rounding) will not be considered in our series.

LSU’s Terrace Marshall is our No. 5-ranked receiver.

When Meoshia Brazzle posts pictures of her son, LSU’s Terrace Marshall Jr., on social media, they frequently are accompanied by the words, “You see the GLORY but don’t know the STORY.”

Marshall’s story could lead him into the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft.

When he was going into his freshman year at Parkway High School in Bossier City, La., he suffered a fractured left fibula. Before his sophomore year, his grandfather died. The following summer, he lost his grandmother.

Through the physical and emotional pain, Marshall became a five-star recruit. Then, early in his senior year, he again suffered a broken left fibula (and a dislocated ankle).

“It was like he was a baby all over again,” Marshall Sr. joked to The Athletic.

As a freshman at LSU in 2018, he caught 12 passes but didn’t play like the elite recruit he had become in high school. Then came a breakout sophomore season. While Justin Jefferson, a first-round pick by Minnesota in 2020, and Ja’Marr Chase, a presumptive first-round pick in this draft, got the headlines through their prolific seasons, Marshall was no slouch with 46 receptions for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns.

"Oh yeah, people back home are definitely hungry to see more of me," Marshall said before the 2019 season. "And they always tell me, 'We're looking and watching.' So, I just want to make the city (Shreveport-Bossier) proud. I would say I've got a lot up my sleeve, and I've been working hard. So, my best year is yet to come. I haven't reached my full potential."

With Jefferson and quarterback Joe Burrow off to the NFL and Chase a COVID opt-out, Marshall caught 48 passes for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns in seven games in 2020. He opted out of the final games of the season.

“I am blessed to have a platform to display God’s work and show the world that in all things we must give thanks,” he posted on Instagram. “As I reflect on the past, every trial and tribulation I have faced has made me who I am today. I strive to be the best every day and I won’t let up until my destiny is fulfilled.”

Those weren’t just empty words. Marshall didn’t let up. During the pandemic, he tirelessly worked out. He worked out so frequently that his mom expressed concerned and suggested he “chill out” a bit.

"Mom, I can't take a break," he replied. "Because while I'm resting, the next man is working."

The legendary Joe Delaney would be proud. Delaney was a national champion in track and field at Northwestern State and the 1981 Rookie of the Year with the Kansas City Chiefs. He tragically died in June 1983 while trying to save three boys from drowning.

"Joe, for me, is reincarnated," Alma Delaney Warner, a great-aunt to Marshall, told The Advocate, "because a lot of actions I see from Terrace, even as a little kid, I can go back in my mind and see that same vision of Joe."

Said LSU coach Ed Orgeron, who in 1983 won the first Joe Delaney Memorial Leadership Award while a senior at Northwestern State, "Terrace is almost a replica of Joe D, and that is about one of the biggest compliments I can ever give anybody."

Before Christmas, he surprised six kids from his hometown with a $200 shopping spree to Champs Sports.

“It makes me real happy just to see the smiles on their faces and the reactions,” Marshall told ArkLATexHomepage.com. “That’s the whole goal and that’s what I wanted to get out of this situation, just to make the kids happy and make them have a good Christmas. I just think about the people and the kids that don’t get a chance to get the best Christmas gift or any Christmas gifts at all, so I just want to be a part of being a blessing to other kids.”

Measureables: 6-foot-3, 200 pounds (unofficial). Pro day: March 31.

Stats and accolades: In 32 career games that included 20 starts, Marshall caught 106 passes for 1,594 yards and 23 touchdowns. He is tied for fourth in school history in touchdown catches and is one of only six players in school history with 1,500-plus receiving yards and at least 20 touchdowns. In 2020, he caught a touchdown pass in five of his seven games and finished third in the SEC in receptions per game (6.9) and receiving yards per game (104.4). With Marshall’s size and speed, he is a big play waiting to happen and a legit deep threat. On passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield last year, he caught 6-of-8 throws and scored four touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus. He dropped too many passes (seven).

NFL Draft Bible says: With Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase out of the equation, Marshall was firmly out of the shadow. He clearly made the most of his opportunity in the seven games he played during the 2020 season. Talent has never been a question mark for Marshall. Blessed with outstanding size and length, Marshall has a second gear that can take you off guard. He is that vertical element to your offense that can win both with long speed and size down the football field. He’s the type of player that the NFL will fall in love with, especially if he tests well for his size.

About This Series

Packer Central is introducing you to the top prospects, both on and off the field, in this year’s NFL Draft. The series is starting with the top five at each position, then will add additional players as the draft approaches, with a focus on positions of need.

WR1: LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase

WR2: Alabama’s DeVonta Smith

WR3: Florida’s Kadarius Toney

WR4: Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman

WR5: LSU’s Terrace Marshall

RB1: Alabama’s Najee Harris

RB2: Clemson’s Travis Etienne

RB3: North Carolina’s Javonte Williams

RB4: Memphis’ Kenneth Gainwell

RB5: North Carolina’s Michael Carter

QB1: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence

QB2: Ohio State’s Justin Fields

QB3: BYU’s Zach Wilson

QB4: North Dakota State’s Trey Lance

QB5: Alabama’s Mac Jones

Draft Order: All 259 selections