Next up in the Prospect Focus series is a name that’s been tossed around by some folks in Ravens Twitter – and no, his name is not Terrance. There’s no ‘n’.
Terrace Marshall, Jr. – Matchup WR – LSU
- 200 pounds
- Wingspan updated March 31st
- Hands updated March 31st
- Arms updated March 31st
2020 Stats: 48 receptions for 731 yards and 10 TDs in seven games.
Due to players opting out of the season, and the pandemic in general, we’re going to see a trend of lower-end statistical outputs for a lot of the NFL Draft prospects, and that includes Terrace Marshall, Jr.
While he was buried on the depth chart behind some guy named Ja’Marr Chase, Marshall is a good prospect in his own right, who has shown improvements in many aspects of his game over the three years that he’s been at LSU.
A projected WR2 with upside, he is widely regarded as one of the better ‘second tier’ receiver prospects in the draft.
Right off the bat, you see that Marshall has something you can’t teach – size. At 6’3″, he has the ability to use his length to dominate NFL-ready corners, and if he’s slotted in as a WR2, he should make quick work of the guys he faces.
Another prospect who uses his hands to catch the ball, rather than waiting for it to come to his body, which is a trait that anyone should be looking for in a pass-catcher. He would provide a large catch radius for Lamar Jackson, while also using plus body control to make sure the catch goes as a reception.
He’s got more functional strength and toughness than I would’ve guessed, and isn’t afraid of taking the hits over the middle, or if his quarterback is going to get him killed. He’ll bounce right back up after getting demolished, and doesn’t let him affect him much.
He has a lot of reps where he will adjust (or come back) to the throw, which would help on off-target, off-schedule throws that Lamar can have from time to time.
Greg Roman could use Marshall’s size/strength combination to cause matchup problems where he sees fit. Want to exploit the slot corner? Marshall can do that. Need to free up your tight end? Throw Marshall on a linebacker and watch the results.
As much functional play strength as he seems to have, I’m not in love with Marshall’s blocking. I feel as though you need to have ‘something else’ if you’re going to be the ‘second’ receiver on the team, and if he can’t lay the wood when asked, then he drops in the eyes of the Ravens.
I’ve noticed that Marshall can take some plays off, especially if he knows that the ball isn’t coming his way. This is a detrimental trait that can cause some failed plays. If he thinks he won’t end up being the read, and then the ball comes his way, we could see an interception at worst, an incompletion at best.
The Ravens seem to value some level of speed, and I’m not sure that there’s a second gear to be had with Marshall. He can occasionally burn a defensive back, but he’s not going to win on vertical routes without some nuance in his running. His 40 time will likely reflect his play speed.
Finally, while Marshall does prefer to use his hands to catch the ball, they aren’t foolproof. He’s been prone to some drops over his time at LSU, mostly caused by lack of concentration and timing when he lets the ball come inside of his frame.
If the Ravens leave the draft with Terrace Marshall as their rookie WR1, you can lock Sammy Watkins in at the X-receiver spot. Marshall doesn’t have a particularly high ceiling, especially in Year One, and I’d never feel comfortable with him as the boundary guy.
Marshall has some serious upside, but was a pretty frustrating watch, because you would see the potential for him to be a WR1 – followed immediately by a ‘this guy is a career WR2’ feeling. He’s a matchup receiver, with potential for some game-breaking plays, but he’ll be more good-than-great.
For where Marshall is likely going to go, I’d prefer they take the better prospect (whoever happens to be there). Marshall doesn’t move the needle too much for me, and he’s not good enough for No. 27, but he won’t be there in Round 2.