Ja’Marr Chase NFL Draft 2021 (LSU)
@CPGM Juice – Ja’Marr Chase’s sophomore campaign was a season for the ages. The 2019 Biletnikoff Winner set SEC records for receiving yards (1,780) and touchdowns (20) amid a historically great LSU offense. Chase’s big-play ability was on full display from the time conference play began thru a (9/221/2) National Championship winning performance; despite facing quality competition on a weekly basis. During an absolute clinic of a season, Chase routinely played the “X” (split end) receiver and slot positions in which his trademark physicality showed up time and again. As a reult, the Ja’Marr Chase NFL Draft stock soared despite not being draft eligible.
However, Ja’Marr Chase would not return for his junior year. Instead, he opted out of the 2020 NCAAF Season due to concerns associated with COVID-19 and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft this past September. Despite only having one season worth of substantial production, all things considered, Chase’s decision to opt out was the correct choice. It was more likely that Chase’s draft stock would take a hit (however incremental) considering how high he set the bar in 2019. Furthermore, question marks at quarterback with Joe Burrow moving on to the NFL made his decision all the more astute.
’19 tape watched: Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Texas, Texas A&M, Georgia, Clemson
Strenghts & Areas of Opportunity according to @CPGM Drew
- Physical at the Point of Attack if you press him.
- Tracks the ball extremely well.
- Strong hands.
- “See ball, go get ball”
- Can adjust to the ball in the air w/ extreme ease (best attribute).
- Has variation and pace to his his route-running.
- Suddeness in his route-running (it appears he is never running at full go in his routes then shows that suddenness at the route stem; this creates enough separation for him to uncover and make the catch.
- Looks comfortable with defenders near him and around at the catch point.
- Undestands working back to the quarterback when the QB is need.
- Excels in run after catch due to his strength and quickness.
- Has short area quicks; I think most will take it for granted.
- Flashes the ability and requisite physicality to be a dominant run-blocker on the edge; but looks disinterested and can be caught spectating at times.
I can’t tell you how many times he was along the sideline and I’m thinking, “no way this dude makes this catch and if he happens to get his hands on the ball he is not coming down in bounds with it. Not only come down with the ball but he is making an NFL catch, two feet in with complete control of the ball and even at times tu it up the field turning it up for extra yardage. Week after week this man faced the best cornerback there was in the country not named Jeff Okudah and DOMINATED!!! Press, turn and run, off coverage it didn’t matter.“
Next Level (NFL) Prognostication
@CPGM Juice – The pre-draft process may carry more weight for Ja’Marr Chase compared to his peers who opted into the 2020 season. His aforementioned 2019 campaign was phenomenal, no question. However, NFL Front Offices will put him through the paces having taken a year off from football. The interview and medicals are always significant. But Chase’s athletic testing figures to play an even larger role in terms of 1st Round draft position and guaranteed dollars despite an other-worldly sophomore season.
It should be noted that Ja’Marr Chase, while shrewd in terms of his route-running pace is not a great route-runner. Moreover, he ran a limited route tree while at LSU consisting primarily of verticals from the boundary or slot, slants and crossing patterns. But this is an area of his game I believe will improve. Furthermore, Chase lacks elite top end speed. While sub 4.4 speed isn’t necessary to be a successful NFL wideout it certainly helps when you’re not a paricularly polished route-runner.
Still, Chase’s phsyicality and hand usage are what redzone target usurpers are made of. The former LSU wideout was challenged with copious amounts of press coverage. A rarity at the collegiate level. But he remained undeterred and won routinely. His ability to get to his spot, particularly on inside releases is uncanny. There’s no stopping him from getting inside leverage on slants and dig routes. While I think he would be simply uncoverable playing from the slot predominantly; Chase’s penchant for attacking the football and body control plays outside of the numbers as well. He’s also excellent at generating yardage after the catch. If he proves that he can stack defensive backs on a consistent basis he could thrive as an “X” receiver.
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