2021 NFL Draft rookie profile: LSU WR Terrace Marshall


(Follow along with all things 2021 NFL Draft with the FTN 2021 NFL Draft Hub!)

Terrace Marshall lived in the shadow of future first-round picks Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase for two seasons. Marshall stepped into the light in 2020 as LSU’s No. 1 receiving option before opting out after seven games. Depending on his pre-draft workouts, Marshall is a player that could be a late riser or a value gem. Whichever team lands him in this year’s NFL draft is bringing an uber-talented player into the fold. 

Terrace Marshall college stats

Marshall arrived on the LSU campus as a five-star prospect, per 247sports. Marshall was minimally involved in his freshman season. He fractured and dislocated his ankle in high school and subsequently missed his senior season because of the injury. When looking at his role in that first season, it’s unknown if this injury played any factor. Marshall established himself as the third receiving option in the historic 2019 LSU offense. Marshall finished third in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns behind only Chase and Jefferson. 

With Chase opting out and Jefferson off to the NFL, Marshall ascended as the spearhead of LSU’s aerial attack. He did so with a carousel of roller-coaster quarterback play, as Max Johnson, T.J. Finley and Myles Brennan each attempted at least 130 passes. Getting on the same page with one signal caller is trying enough for any wide receiver, but catching passes from three in one season adds another layer to Marshall’s evaluation. Looking at Marshall’s end-of-season stat line, especially his target share, necessitates added context as well. Marshall opted out after the seventh game of the college season. His overall numbers and Kayshon Boutte’s look eerily similar at first glance (45 receptions, 735 receiving yards). Boutte dominated after Marshall opted out, rolling up 27 receptions and 527 receiving yards over his final three games. With Marshall on the field, he was the alpha dominating with a 25.3% target share. In 2020 among 145 wide receivers with 50 or more targets, Marshall ranked 21st in yards per route run (2.91). 

(Through the first seven games of LSU’s 2020 season.)

Marshall checked other overall collegiate career metrics that we look to when projecting players at the next level. Marshall finished with a 46.5% college dominator (92nd percentile) and 19.2 breakout age (86th percentile). Marshall’s collegiate career might not jump off the page when you pull it up the first time, but it’s quietly impressive when accounting for all of these factors. 

Strengths: Terrace Marshall can line up anywhere

  • Ability to play outside/slot
  • Short area quickness for his size
  • Nimble after the catch
  • Downfield weapon

After playing outside on 73.7-81.6% of his snaps in 2018-2019, Marshall moved into the slot last season. In 2020 he lined up inside on 72.7% of his snaps. Marshall showed the ability to win outside in the previous two seasons versus man or press coverage with a variety of hand techniques and footwork. Watching him working the slot in 2020 was fun to watch. Marshall displayed the quickness needed to win on short and intermediate routes versus zone which was good to see from a receiver standing at 6-foot-3.

Marshall showed off his ability to make defenders miss in the open field or win downfield on multiple occasions. Marshall would do so with upper body strength or a jab step in space while fighting for extra yards. During his final two seasons Marshall secured 52% (25 targets) of his deep targets for 477 yards, seven touchdowns, and a 137.0 passer rating. I won’t be surprised if Marshall surprises some with his 40 time after watching him pull away from defensive backs during numerous games (2020, Missouri). 

Weaknesses: Drops are an issue for Terrace Marshall

  • Drops
  • Blocking

Marshall displayed some drop issues in 2020 that weren’t as glaring in previous seasons. In 2020, he dropped seven passes, compared to only four in his two previous seasons combined. When watching the film, some of these could be labeled as concentration drops. There were times when he was focusing on what he was going to do after the catch before completing the catch. Considering his overall body of work it’s not a major concern, but it’s notable. 

Marshall has instances where his blocking effort will wane. There are snaps where he’ll dig in and fight a defender tooth and nail until the whistle and others where that’s lacking. Marshall has more than a few snaps on film where he’ll set his initial block, but not hold the defender or simply whiff on a block. 

Where will Terrace Marshall land in the NFL Draft?

  • Carolina Panthers (Pick 2.39; Pick 3.73): Reuniting with his previous offensive coordinator Joe Brady from LSU would be a fantastic fit. Robby Anderson will be 28 years old entering 2021 and an unrestricted free agent in 2022. Marshall would be able to step in for Curtis Samuel as the third option in the passing attack in 2021. He would carry the upside to ascend into a 1B role alongside D.J. Moore in the next season.
  • Detroit Lions (Pick 2.41, Pick 3.72): The Lions wide receiver depth chart is empty. If the Lions don’t address the position in the first round, they will likely do so in the second. Marshall could work alongside a franchise-tagged Kenny Golladay in 2021 with the chance to move into an alpha role in 2022.
  • Washington Football Team (Pick 2.52, Pick 3.74): Terry McLaurin needs a running mate in Washington, and Marshall could be that player. Marshall could rotate between outside and slot receiver as a high-volume option over the middle. Washington should look to surround whoever their new quarterback is with weapons. A passing game featuring Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas and Terrace Marshall looks like a nice start.
Previous Best and worst fantasy football landing spots for Kenny Golladay Next Best and worst fantasy football landing spots for Chris Godwin