NAME: Terrace Marshall Jr.
POSITION: Wide Receiver
WEIGHT: 200 pounds
Throughout the entire career of Terrace Marshall Jr., it has always been a question of when, not if. That seems to be the case for him entering the 2021 NFL Draft. Even with a fairly impressive 2019 campaign during LSU’s run en route to the National Championship, a breakout commenced in 2020. He would eventually leave school early with the season still in progress. But even after opting out, Marshall Jr. had put together a season most receivers would be excited about for only playing seven games. In addition, LSU lost so much of their roster from the year before and Marshall Jr. was still performing as one of the best along with marginal quarterbacks.
Before college, he was raised in Bossier City, Louisiana where he attended Parkway High School. Marshall Jr. was named Shreveport Times Male Athlete of the Year following his junior year of high school. And even after missing most of his senior season because of injury, he was still named as a 2018 Under Armour All-American. Marshall Jr. was also a five-star recruit. He would receive multiple scholarship offers from blue collar schools, like Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Auburn and Georgia for example. Ultimately, Marshall Jr. elected to stick close to home with LSU.
The wide receiver also has a little part of Kansas City Chiefs history already in his family. His great uncle Joe Delaney was a running back for the Chiefs in 1981 and 1982. Finishing with 1,121 rushing yards on 234 carries, Delaney was named to the Pro Bowl and was chosen as AFC Rookie of the Year in 1981. He sadly passed away in July 1983, while attempting to save children from drowning. Even though Marshall Jr. never got to meet his great uncle, there is a special place for him in his heart. The receiver said of Delaney, “people say I’m a lot like him, so I’d have liked to meet him.”
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The thing you want to see from your wide receivers is how comfortable they are as a pass catcher. It may seem simple, but it means a lot. Marshall Jr. has no issues here, as you rarely see balls juggled or catches looking awkward. Above all, he does a great job of using his hands to pluck the ball out of the air. By not allowing the football to hit his pads or be helped by his body, you recognize his other positive traits. Marshall Jr. appears to be largely unfazed in traffic as well. Whether there is two sets of defender’s hands trying to break up the pass, or opponents attempting to outjump him, Marshall Jr. remains focused. He makes catching the football look so smooth and straightforward, regardless of chaos around him. Most of his drops are due to his eyes turning upfield too quickly, rather than failing to secure it cleanly.
Immediately watching Marshall Jr., you can see he knows how to find the open spots between defenders. He makes certain throws easier for passers. Being able to slow down during the play keeps the defenders honest. Meanwhile, his mind is always focused on moving upfield. Coaches will enjoy his lack of dancing in the open field. Marshall Jr. is hoping to score on every play. Furthermore, he is very intelligent to use his size and physicality to his advantage. If you are going to stop him, tacklers better be prepared for a fight to the whistle. Consequently, Marshall Jr. has a skillset that translates to all levels of the field and his spatial awareness is not common.
Marshall Jr. makes creating open opportunities look so easy. He is not super deceptive or developed with head fakes or counters on his routes. Nonetheless, his long, heavy strides, physicality and height create chances downfield behind the defensive backs. Marshall Jr. is also able to use the size to his advantage in contested catch situations. You can see his competitive and confident nature at the catch point. This is especially true when he high points the football. Even more so, Marshall Jr. mixes his size and competitiveness as a runner after the catch. When he creates separation, it is not necessarily with the twitch, speed or acceleration of other receivers. It works though, as Marshall Jr. is extremely comfortable on throws into tight windows.
Saying Marshall Jr.’s speed is a negative, does not mean he cannot bring quickness to the offense. Learning how to use it to the best of his ability is a work in progress. His short area quickness and twitch shown in transitions are noticeable. However, Marshall Jr. will not be known for his long speed and outrunning cornerbacks. This is one of the more minor issues of anything from this prospect’s current game tape.
This is important to note that Marshall Jr. can separate well. Yet, his route running and releases at the line of scrimmage need more polish. Too many times, Marshall Jr. runs straight to his area. Sometimes it works to his advantage, if defensive backs are slow to read and react. There is not a lot of NFL defensive backs that he will be able to get behind without a nuance of fakes or counters. The size and physicality could help to limit that. But, we have seen how much more versatile teams ask their receivers to be in their route running. With good coaching and Marshall Jr.’s strong work ethic, he can continue to grow as a route runner.
This may seem like a minor issue. Blocking has become a big part of the Chiefs offense, though. Seeing guys like Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle do it so well can be taken for granted. There are reps where Marshall Jr. stops moving his feet. As a result, this allows opponents to push him backwards toward the backfield. Marshall Jr. is also inconsistent in how he exudes his upper body strength. Fine tuning that and using his frame to a benefit can lead to a more complete game.
With possibly losing the aforementioned Watkins and Robinson to free agency the Chiefs will need to continue to stock up at receiver. Surrounding Patrick Mahomes with his best set of weapons will allow the offense to be among the best year after year. With a player like Terrace Marshall Jr., Kansas City could add a player who can win in all three levels of the field. Because of his comfort in the open field and physical prowess, this would be a great mix with assets like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Marshall Jr. is also well versed from multiple positions in the formation. At LSU, he proved he could win outside or in the slot. If the Chiefs were able to add the receiver, he would bring even more dynamic ability and high volume upside to a well respected plethora of weapons.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs draft prospect profiles throughout the winter and spring. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.