With the 2021 NFL Draft less than two weeks away, the Baltimore Ravens appear more and more likely to take a wide receiver with the 27th pick. LSU wide receiver Jamar Chase is the consensus top player at the position and will be long gone by the time the Ravens pick in the first round. However, his teammate Terrace Marshall is a pretty sweet consolation prize and should be there for the Ravens’ taking.
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has Baltimore taking Marshall in his latest mock draft.
As I wrote in my Mock Draft 3.0, quarterback Lamar Jackson needs an outside wide receiver that can run every route. That’s Marshall, and it’s rare that a team is able to find a guy like him this late in Round 1. That just shows how exceptional and deep the current wideout class is going to be.
Marshall fits— even with Sammy Watkins joining Baltimore in a one-year deal. With Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue both gone in free agency, I also thought about Penn State edge defender Jayson Oweh, who has big-time upside. Judging from social media, Ravens fans seem to embrace Marshall as the suggested draft selection.
Marshall caught 48 passes for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns in seven games last season. His breakout season came in 2019 when he hauled in 46 receptions for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns to contribute to LSU’s National Championship season. Marshall checked in at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds at LSU’s pro day last month. His size alone is impressive. But when you factor on his 4.38-second time in the 40-yard dash and 39-inch vertical, it’s no wonder Marshall is starting to get some buzz in the draft world.
Pro Football Focus has Marshall ranked as the No. 26 prospect while The Draft Network has him at No. 25 overall. NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein compared Marshall to former Washington Football Team wide receiver Josh Doctson. Zierlein predicts Marshall will be a starter within the next two seasons.
Big, fast and talented, Marshall has the ingredients to become a solid starter in the league but has some questions to answer. With the departure of Justin Jefferson and with Ja’Marr Chase opting out, more targets and more shaded coverage ended up coming his way until he opted out at the end of November.
He looks much more comfortable outside than he does in the slot, and he’s a more reliable ball-catcher when he’s working the second and third levels. He’s a natural ball-tracker with a second gear and the catch radius to go get it, and his size gives him an advantage on 50-50 balls.
For all of his talent, Marshall seemed disinterested at times in 2020 and wasn’t always committed to finishing his routes or running them with consistent intensity. There are traits and talent at his disposal, but the difference between becoming a WR2 and a WR3/4 could be determined by how hard he is willing to work at his craft. The Ravens have already added Sammy Watkins to the group of receivers. That may not be enough.
Baltimore is lacking a big body wideout that can win on the outside. Marshall fits that description perfectly.