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NFL Draft

TDN100: Pounding the Table For LSU WR Terrace Marshall

  • The Draft Network
  • October 29, 2020
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Defensive backs are often the first position mentioned when LSU is brought up and rightfully so. A program that has a strong case to be considered “DBU” has produced a long list of successful players at the position. The Tigers have created a reputation for its highly successful defenses, but over the past two seasons, it’s been the other slide of the ball that’s garnered all of the attention.

Capping off a perfect 15-0 season with a national title, one of the most electrifying offenses in recent memory took place in Baton Rouge. Setting a countless number of school records that eventually led to him becoming the No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Joe Burrow had an endless amount of weapons at his disposal. 

Wide receiver Justin Jefferson (No. 22 – Minnesota Vikings) and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (No. 32 – Kansas City Chiefs) went on to become first-round draft picks. Setting a new SEC record in touchdown receptions (20), Ja’Marr Chase packed his bags and declared early for the 2021 draft after deciding to opt out of his third season with the program. 

With the top three options now off to greener pastures, the fourth option on the totem pole remained intact.

It’s often said that Terrace Marshall had the quietest 13-touchdown season in college football history. A total that would’ve been the best individual single-season output among most teams in the country, Marshall managed to still fly under the radar while others grabbed the national spotlight. 

Now as the undisputed top option on the team, Marshall no longer is down the line on the scouting report of opposing teams. The junior wideout has already collected 27 catches, 512 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns. On pace to surpass his season totals from a year ago, the game that took the nation by storm was his unstoppable output against Missouri, where he totaled single-game career highs in catches (11), receiving yards (235), and touchdowns (three). 

How would he handle garnering all of the attention of defenses now that he doesn’t have those other attention grabbers around him? That was a big question that scouts wanted to see answered from the 6-foot-3, 200-pound pass-catcher. 

“Give me the ball,” Marshall told The Advocate after his record-setting performance. That LSU has done, as he’s well on his way to challenging Chase’s epic sophomore season. After being mostly a field side threat on the outside, he’s spent a mixture of his time this season in the slot as well as on both sides of the perimeter. 

Showing off his alignment versatility has only helped his case as he’s already been labeled as one of the five biggest risers on the first update to The Draft Network Top100 Big Board for the 2021 draft. The Tigers receiver now sits as the No. 28 overall prospect. Marshall has at least two touchdown receptions in four straight games, which is the longest streak by an SEC player since Kentucky wide receiver Keenan Burton during the 2006 season.

According to, Marshall recorded 498 snaps (74% outside, 26% in the slot) in 2019. Four games into the 2020 season, those numbers have completely flip-flopped, as he’s recorded 69% of his reps in the slot while the other 26% have been out on the perimeter.

The most eye-popping stat of Marshall’s junior season so far has been his consistency against man-to-man coverage. According to Sports Info Solutions, Marshall has been targeted 13 times (nine considered catchable) and he’s caught all nine passes that have resulted in five touchdowns and an impressive 12.8 yards per reception.

Marshall’s success doesn’t stop there, though. He’s been the ultimate field-stretcher as well, as he’s totaled touchdown passes of 75, 51, 51, and 37 yards this season. Thriving as the team's go-to option has helped him now surge up draft boards.

LSU hasn’t had a wide receiver duo become first-round selections since Dwayne Bowe (No. 23 – Kansas City Chiefs) and Craig Davis (No. 27 – San Diego Chargers) during the 2007 draft. With Chase already set to hear his name called early next year, Marshall’s ascension could be the factor that enables the duo to rewrite the record books of the illustrious program.

The Scouting Report

Size: 6-foot-3, 200, Junior

Scouts Quote: “He was the fourth or fifth option in that explosive offense last year when they won it all, but now he’s the bonafide No. 1 and he’s proving that he’s legit. – NFC South Scout

Positives (+)

Marshall is a direct toes in the ground, short-stride glider that doesn't appear to move as fast until you see how fast he's able to eat up the cushion of defenders in front of him. A bigger type of receiver, it's often noticeable that corners have an "oh wow" moment when detecting how quickly Marshall is able to smother and surpass their cushion. Easy glide steps help him create and separate once successfully able to get past coverage.

The junior wide receiver also incorporates strong hands that routinely squeeze and impede the path of the ball. Snatching the ball out of the air, Marshall is able to show off his strong hands and wide catch radius as he aggressively attacks the ball when within reach. An upright route-runner, he runs most while nearly standing straight up. Despite his upright and tall nature, he has the body control, strength, and balance to avoid second level collisions from linebackers and safeties that intend to knock him off the course of his route. A fairly new slot presence, he's still learning the purpose of dipping and ripping through contact, but he has the physique to brush off collisions if they are able to land on his frame.

Negatives (–)

Because of the lack of bend involved overall in his game, Marshall has some dullness in his routes while altering directions and when asked to slam on brakes at the top of patterns. Often, he will suffer with being forced to take extra steps at the top, which are clear indicators for corners to plant and drive back downhill to possibly meet the ball in order to affect throwing windows. Cleaning up the sloppiness at the top of his routes will be vital, as this will give matchups extra time to work back to ball locations, but also expand the branches on his route tree in the long run.

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