2018 Jets Draft Prospect
Name: D.J. Chark
Weight: 198 pounds
Speed: Chark certainly presents an NFL worthy combination of size and speed. His acceleration is smooth and sudden. In his three years at LSU, Chark proved he can outrun defenders with ease. He’s remained consistent on his first leg of his double moves. Not to mention he showcased explosive potential with ten touchdowns on just 86 career touches. This all while seeing 36 percent of his catches go for 25-plus yards. His immediate acceleration combined with his long strides created winning separation against some of the nation’s toughest defenders.
Flashiness: Chark’s double moves left defenders off-balance and stumbling all throughout 2017. His ability to gather and then sink back to the quarterback on comeback routes was nearly unmatched. Chark also remained fearless in the middle of the field against the big-bodied defenders, making his versatility as a receiver even deeper.
Body Control: Chark’s body control for late adjustments may have been the best the Tigers have seen in years. His ability to find the ball and secure it while zipping by defenders will prove to be worthwhile for any NFL team.
Other: Chark has also been willing to put a few blocks on when need be. Despite his smaller size, Chark has been effective at not only catching the ball, but setting his fellow receivers and backs up for success as well. Lastly, Chark’s cutting acceleration has made him a quality punt returner.
Frame: Chark’s smaller frame may be troubling when progressing to pro-football. He may struggle against press corners, as seen occasionally during his time at LSU.
Strength: This goes hand-and-hand with Chark’s frame. His upper-body strength may present issues against strong-armed defenders. Chark may have difficulty maneuvering around opposing corners.
Hands: While Chark’s hands seem to be a strength when catching the ball, they become a weakness when evaluating them in press coverage. Chark has struggled to use his hands when breaking from the line of scrimmage, and it will need to be something he works on to be an effective pro receiver.
Route Running: Chark’s speed and flashiness allow him to overshadow his less than spectacular route running abilities. At LSU, he was nearly limited to linear go routes and rounded routes. He’ll need to become more versatile in this aspect.
The Jets already have a similar receiver on their roster in Robby Anderson, who was once an undrafted free agent. Anderson’s speed and flashiness have allowed him to become a dangerous weapon despite his slim frame and lacking strength.
Chark could become a nice compliment in that aspect. His ability to break away from defenders and lock arms with the deep ball could support a new Jets QB quite nicely. Chark could also become a red zone threat in both deep and short scenarios, something the Jets would love to add to their receiving corps.
In that same respect, the Jets have also struggled to find a threatening return man. In 2017 the Jets finished 29th with 171 total punt return yards. They could use a dual threat like Chark in multiple scenarios.