Ja’Marr Chase NFL Draft Profile
- 2018 (10 Games): 23 Rec, 313 yards, 3 TDs
- 2019 (14 Games): 84 Rec, 1780 yards, 20 TDs
While Alabama and Ohio State have been widely touted as the wide receiver universities for the NFL, LSU may quickly be putting their name into the ring as well. Following Justin Jefferson’s breakout season with the Vikings, the Tigers may be sending another top notch receiver to the next level in 2021.
After a freshman year where he caught just 23 passes, Chase truly broke onto the scene during LSU’s national championship run in 2019. He caught 84 passes en route to a whopping 1780 yards and 20 touchdowns. Granted, some of this massive statistical jump could be due to improved play from QB, Joe Burrow.
That said, Chase is certainly one of the most talented wideouts in the 2021 Draft. His speed gives him the ability to create space from opposing defenders, and he is a massive threat after the catch. It wasn’t always that way, though. In high school, Chase was clocked at a 4.66 in the 40, but this past July, he ran a 4.40.
Despite having natural abilities that got him to LSU, Chase’s work ethic is probably his best trait. He has not only made improvements to his strength and speed, but his route running has improved and his ability to reel in 50/50 balls makes him extremely difficult to defend. With LSU’s Pro Day on March 31st, we will soon see how much more work Chase has put in.
If there was any reason for Chase to fall in the upcoming draft, it’s simply that we haven’t seen him play actual football in over a year. He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, so the last time Chase played a game was LSU’s national title win. In that game, he caught nine balls for 221 yards and two touchdowns; certainly a great performance to go out on.
As far as his actual play is concerned, while his routes have gotten better, it is still an area where he can improve. He still doesn’t have a very fast change of direction, so opposing DBs will be more likely to stick with him in the NFL. Along with that, defenders will have an easier time wrapping Chase up if they can catch him. He isn’t a very elusive runner, and with his smaller 6’1 frame, he isn’t able to run through tacklers.
At the end of the day, though, Chase can be a very reliable receiver at the next level. His catching ability and work ethic to continue improving gives him a ton of upside while his competitive spirit will bring an edge to the locker room. He can be a WR1 or WR2 for many NFL teams picking in the top half of the first round.
Draft Projection: Early-Mid First Round
Best Traits: Breakaway Speed, Competitiveness, Work Ethic
Worst Traits: Lateral Quickness, Elusivity