In a pass-happy NFL, emphasis on getting a receiver who can be a chain-mover has grown in demand. Lucky for the NFL, another top prospect is available in Ja’Marr Chase. Chase is the embodiment of an elite possession receiver who can make the clutch catches and be the reliable go-to target for a desperate quarterback. In a word, he has the talent to make a quarterback better; however, Chase opted out of the 2020 LSU season and declared for the NFL Draft.
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Name: Ja’Marr Chase
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 200 lbs
Chase can get downfield quickly and has the speed to be a downfield threat, however, he’s not going to be a burner in the NFL. His ability to manipulate his speed allows him better leverage when making breaks, which is a significant skill.
Chase is an athlete but is also built like a tank allowing him to beat cornerbacks with physicality. The young man can also jump with the best of them. Additionally, his short-area quickness is noticeable for being so physical, and it allows him to choose from a variety of different releases when he sees press. Ultimately, Chase is a smooth and functional athlete whose athleticism will translate as his routes improve.
Route Running/Separation (9.5/10)
There is more to route running than just quickness and being fast. Chase’s hand placement and understanding of leverage – with the use of his body – allows him to create open lanes for quarterbacks. His use of hands and placement during routes allows him to beat defenders and gain leverage. Route tree is solid, and there are no worries about the translation to the NFL. Chase is fluid in his routes but also understands how to stacks cornerback well, demonstrating he understands the nuance of running short and vertical routes
Not a body catcher, Chase will use his strong hands to rip the ball out of the air. Confident he can be a reliable possession receiver at the next level. Specifically, he extends his arms with concentrating and squeezes the ball – important in the NFL as cornerbacks are better at swatting. Chase projects to be a chain mover on third down and should be a reliable target for clutch situations.
Run after Catch (7.5/10)
Leaves something to be desired, and can make one person miss. However, Chase is strong, and tacklers need to have good form ensuring he’s down.
Contested Catch (9.5/10)
Chase is comfortable being physical with a cornerback and seems to come down with the ball, even when the cornerback has good coverage. He somehow can come down with a majority of the 50-50 toss-up ball. In the air, he’s can high point the ball and is always a threat for vertical balls and fades.
Body Control (10/10)
His body control is insane and might be his best trait. In the air, Chase can control his body and put it in the best position to make the catch. Additionally, he understands leverage and can box out cornerbacks, and creates easier throws for his quarterback.
If you have a chance to watch Chase play against Trevon Diggs (2019), it demonstrates that Chase has a violent and disrespectful release. He’s capable of using his physicality and a quick one-two wiggle. Confident his release will translate to the NFL due to his verity in releases – not only the use of physicality but also quickness.
Excellent understanding of spatial awareness and manipulating routes. Decent adjustments in zone coverage. Chase developed chemistry with Joe Burrow and showed the intelligence to make adjustments to route and be on the same page as his quarterback.
Chase is not going to win with quickness, which is fine because he’s as physical as it comes. He is also a fluid athlete.
Injury/ Durability (5/5)
No major injuries or durability concerns. It will be interesting to see how ready Chase is for the Combine.
Not a dominant blocker, but he shows good form. Willing to make blocks to spring running back and quarterback.
Chase is a weapon and has the potential to change an offense. His aggression, strength, release, and body control make him a threat to take on any cornerback who is not comfortable with physicality. Simply put – Chase is a bully at the catch point, and a reliable chain mover, who quarterbacks will naturally go to in clutch situations and import points of the game. He’s everything you want in an NFL possession receiver, with his elite both control, ability to high points the ball, and be the reliable chain-mover.
Final Grade (91.25/100): Top Five Talent, but a Top Ten Pick
Player Comp: DeAndre Hopkins