As everyone knows, the Green Bay Packers need a WR2. Davante Adams can’t carry the receiving corps alone. But because they were cap-strapped and couldn’t make any big moves in the offseason, Green Bay will have to find one in the draft. Top receivers like DeVonta Smith and Ja’Marr Chase will likely be off the board when the Packers select at 29. Still, they will almost certainly have the opportunity to land a high-end receiver in LSU’s Terrace Marshall.
Marshall was one of the most highly touted players in his high school class and committed to LSU as a junior in 2017. He ranked as the No. 1 player in Louisiana and the fourth-best receiver in the 2018 class.
Marshall played in the shadows behind Chase and current Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson, and as a result, has never gotten the recognition he deserved. In 2018 he primarily served as a backup and ended his freshman season with 12 receptions for 192 yards and no touchdowns.
Although he was used primarily in a supplemental role as a freshman, he was expected to take a big step two years ago. With the eventual Heisman winner and current Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow under center, Marshall had 46 receptions for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns. He lit it up in the 2019 SEC Championship game, scoring twice against Georgia.
The most impressive thing about all of this? He did this as LSU’s WR3 in 2019. Chase was the Biletnikoff winner, and Jefferson ended up being a first-round draft pick to the you-know-whos across the border. Calling him a third receiver does him a disservice considering who he is playing with.
Marshall finally got his shot as LSU’s primary receiver last year and made the most of his opportunity. He had 48 receptions for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns in just seven games even though he played with multiple quarterbacks and a downgraded offense. If Marshall had even had average quarterback play for most of the shortened season, he likely would have eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. Fortunately for him, if the Packers take Marshall, he will be playing with Aaron Rodgers next year. Over 700 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns is no joke in an all-SEC schedule, especially when considering LSU’s subpar quarterback play.
Measuring in at 6’3”, 201 lbs, Marshall has the physical attributes to be an NFL receiver as well. He has underrated speed, giving him the ability to take any play to the house.
His hands will keep him from going higher in the first round. For how talented he is, he needs to improve his drop rate to be successful in the NFL. But Packers fans will remember that Davante Adams had quite a similar problem coming out of college and in his early years in the NFL. Sure-handedness is something that can be coached and even turned into a strength.
Scouts also note that Marshall ran a limited route tree because of the system he was in at LSU. Typically, scouts get pretty concerned when they hear this. I think that this is a huge overreaction. With a receiver as talented as Marshall, he likely will pick up routes and schemes well. It’s not like he has never run routes before in his life. With proper coaching and usage, Marshall should adapt to the game at the next level.
It is promising to see that Marshall has succeeded with other talented receivers around him. If the Packers take him, he would be playing alongside arguably the NFL’s best receiver in Adams. If Marshall can get the production he got while playing WR3 in 2019 to the likes of Chase and Jefferson, imagine what he could do with playing second, not third fiddle to Adams?
Marshall will free up the Packers’ offense. For two years, Adams has been significantly better than Green Bay’s other receivers. Adding a receiver who can score on any play would open up many more opportunities for offensive production and explosive plays. We all know Rodgers has been begging for new weapons.