Where Would Marshall fit best?
By: Chandler Hyler
As the 2021 NFL Draft approaches, I expect the first round of this draft to one of the more heavy offensive-centered draft in recent memory. If I were to guess as of today, I would say there is potential the entire top 10 selections will be offensive players. With that said, I can see up to five wide receivers being selected in the first round.
Does former LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. fit that mold?
Rounding out his junior season at LSU, Marshall produced a stat line of 48 receptions for 731 yards and a very solid 10 touchdown receptions. This stat line compares well to the statistical production he laid out his sophomore season as well, as he had 46 receptions for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns. The two things that stand out the most to me with Marshall would be his consistency and his touchdown accumulation.
Having 23 touchdown receptions in what was basically two years of collegiate play is impressive, as his freshman season, he did not see the field much. No matter what team you are, having a big-bodied, 6-foot-3 red zone target will make you more efficient. Marshall could come in and be a solid number two option for a team immediately and become their number one option in the red zone.
Knowing that you have someone on the outside who can give you a solid four to five catches a game, that can win one-on-one battles, will only make your offense better. After watching Marshall’s tape, I came away thinking that he reminded me of a Courtland Sutton type receiver.
With many of his touchdowns, he would use his size to box out defenders and attack the football. His frame would allow him to get on top of the defensive back. Marshall is a big play waiting to happen.
It’s understood that he isn’t in the tier one group of receivers that include former teammate of Marshall, Ja’marr Chase, and the 2021’s duo of first-round Alabama wide receivers, Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. That being said, I could certainly see multiple scenarios where he sneaks into the back end of the first round, which would actually benefit his future as he would be going to already bonified playoff rosters.
In these scenarios, he wouldn’t wind up with a franchise that has an unknown commodity at the quarterback position neither. Which receiver needy teams could we see take a flier on the strong, consistent, touchdown machine Marshall.
- Green Bay Packers
Veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers has seemed disgruntled with the usage of the Packers’ premium picks as of late. The last “wide receiver” they selected with what I describe as a premium pick (day 1 or day 2 pick) was now converted running back, Ty Montgomery.
This was back in 2015, as the former third-round pick is a member of the New Orleans Saints as a running back. While they have one of the receivers who’s in the bonified conversation for best in the league with Davante Adams, their options are thin behind him. After spending a first-round pick on quarterback Jordan Love last year and a second-rounder on running back AJ Dillion, could the Packers finally bring in someone to help the future Hall of Famer?
If they do decide to finally address the wide receiver position, Terrace Marshall would absolutely be an ideal fit for this team. They have Tae Adams on one side, crossing up defenders and drawing consistent attention from the defense. This could benefit the Packers’ offense as if teams try to run a cover one look with a safety patrolling the top, he would certainly lean over to Adams’ side, as he simply can’t be covered man-to-man.
Marshall would then be placed in one-on-one scenarios, and with a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, he would feast in the red zone. Rodgers is a man of ball placement. Seeing him drop bucket throws, fades, and back shoulder passes to a strong receiver like Marshall could be a match made in heaven.
Rodgers has been looking for a complementary receiver since the likes of Jordy Nelson retired. Tae Adams was young then, and still perfecting his craft. Marshall fits the mold as a complementary receiver to Adams. It also wouldn’t hurt to actually invest in the talent of Rodgers, instead of making him make chicken salad out of chicken poop.
2. Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens certainly aren’t a wide receivers “dream.” They are a run-heavy offense, that predicates itself on the dual threat ability of their pro-bowl quarterback.
Regardless, they are still a team in need of a strong playmaker on the outside. In 2019, they selected speedster Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in the first round, but he isn’t a do it all wide receiver. He excels in certain areas, but also has weaknesses in areas, like the red zone. They also added free-agent, yet oft-injured WR Sammy Watkins.
Marshall could come in immediately, along with tight end Mark Andrews, and give this team multiple options when the field shrinks. Many have made the argument that like Rodgers, Jackson has not been provided with the weapons he needs to succeed. By adding Marshall, Jackson would multiple options and should take this passing game to the next level of competency.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In every post, I like to add in what would be a “wildcard” team, and for Marshall, it is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They brought back the entire starting roster from the eventual 2020 Super Bowl Championship team. This says that they do not really have any needs to fill for the upcoming season.
With heavy money invested in the WR position, it would be wise to instill some youth here. Yes, the Buccaneers are already loaded here, but Mike Evans is scheduled to make 18 million per in 2022 and 2023. Chris Godwin is playing under the franchise tag in 2021, while they would like to strike an extension, his future is still unknown.
Marshall could come in and be the potential replacement for Godwin or Evans if necessary, or could even just make this offense even more lethal as a luxury pick. Marshall would also benefit from coming in and learning under these veteran receivers, who seem like great teammates.
Evans was willing to restructure his contract in whatever way to ensure that this team would stay intact, and that is a good sign of an excellent teammate. Also, who wouldn’t want to come in and play with the GOAT himself, Tom Brady. Being able to learn from Tom Terrific in his rookie campaign would do wonders for the potential first-round pick.
Terrace Marshall, in my opinion, will make the team that selects him delighted. He gets overlooked, in a seemingly top-heavy draft class at the wide receiver position, but he shouldn’t. I’ve used the word strong many times, but it is the best way to describe Marshall’s ability.
As well as staying on top of defenders at the attack point, he is a YAC machine. Scoring touchdowns in the National Football League will get you paid, and that is Marshall’s specialty. He is a big play waiting to happen, and would be a steal for a team at the back end of round one.