Buried beneath the likes of Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, Terrace Marshall Jr. rarely was able to showcase his abilities. Although COVID-19 ravaged the world, it at least allowed Marshall to demonstrate his worth without the presence of his other two-star teammates.
With all of the natural talent and size in the world, Marshall may be one of the highest “ceiling” prospects in this year’s draft, though he does have some concerns to be examined. It is time to dive deep into one of the most intriguing prospects in 2021.
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Name: Terrace Marshall Jr.
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 200 lbs
Marshall looks antsy over the middle of the field. There were a few drops that were easy to catch balls. His problem lies in the fact that he takes his eyes off the pigskin before he secures it. With more focus and awareness, he can correct this. He needs to be marked down heavily for now.
Contested Catch (6.75/10)
Ironically, Marshall has better hands when it is harder to catch the ball. There were many times where contact could have dislodged it, but he held on. Whether it is having a one-handed catch during interference or a fingertip grab at full stride, Marshall can do it, though he is no Odell Beckham Jr. He has raw talent here but does tend to have a weird hand position on certain deep contested balls, an odd train to note.
Straight Line Speed (7.25/10)
This category is almost impossible to grade. The Louisiana native usually plays at a very slow speed. This tends to happen on every route except “go”s or “slants”. That said, when he gets moving, he is insanely fast for his size. Marshall should test in the 4.4 area of the 40-yard dash.
The fact that he does not run this speed every play is a major cause for concern with regards to the level of effort he puts in. To maximize his potential, Marshall needs to be in a vertical scheme that can utilize him on the boundary as a deep threat, as well as in the slot as well for slant and soft “out” routes.
Short Area Burst (7.25/10)
Marshall is great at boosting his speed. The issue is that he just usually does not get to use it. By the time Marshall gets to burst his speed, the play may be over. If he actually ran the speed that he did on his vertical routes, and after the catch, he might be able to jump the score even more. That said, Marshall does generate bursts that cause noticeable differences in his play speed. This will be crucial at the next level.
After the Catch (7.5/10)
Considering his size, the former Tiger can move very well. His long speed combined with a solid juking ability provide an amazing asset for certain schemes. There was a reason that Marshall was used on screens and slants much of the time and not just streaks. When in doubt, check out how a program uses a player, as they often know how to use them best.
The wide receiver has a difficult time against aggressive defensive backs, both at the line of scrimmage and during his route. To be fair, few reps had pure press coverage, but his hand fighting skills and release package appeared lackluster. A slot role in a vertical offense might suit him best.
Route Running (6.25/10)
Marshall is amazing at a few distinct routes: slants, streaks, soft outs, and the occasional “sit in the hole” in zone defense. Due to his sluggish play speed, he can use stutter steps with high efficiency, though it hurts him being able to make effective double moves. Again, his skill set meshes perfectly with a vertical scheme, where he can be a deep threat from the slot.
Marshall creates solid separation when he wants to. The question is: When does he want to? At such low play speed, he tends to have to rely on his burst for that separation. This is solid until the defensive back gets sticky and aggressive. In the long game, Marshall runs at 75 percent but “turns on the jets”, leaving defenders in the dust. Marshall has all of the tools in the bag. It just depends on when he decides to use them.
Positional Versatility (7.5/10)
Having played extensively in both the slot and on the perimeter, Marshall’s post-catch skills allow him to be used as a gadget player, too. If he can improve his release skills, this prospect could develop into a solid No. 2 weapon on any team in need of a guy to stretch the field. He is dangerous as long as he puts in the work.
Also, note that Marshall is absolutely the worst wideout prospect ever in the run game; he gets plowed over every time he engages in a block and is quite comical.
Competitive Toughness (2.25/5)
This score should have been written in stone by the way the other categories described Marshall. Laziness or timidity comes to mind in his lack of high-intensity plays. If he can get his head around actually pushing his body every play, the guy deserves to be a mid-first-round selection.
The true downfall is his mentality. It leaves him standing still on many plays while his teammate is getting tackled just three yards away. This may push Marshall to the middle of the second round amidst a sea of overachievers like Jefferson and Chase.
Marshall appears to have multiple injuries ranging from arm to foot. Durability may be a concern for this young prospect.
With all of the raw talent in the world, Marshall has the chance to be a boom. Given his mental issues, there might not be many degrees of separation between that and bust. If a scheme uses his speed and after-the-catch skills correctly, he is worth a first-round pick.
Watch out for a team like the Ravens that need a large deep threat to snag him in the first (they failed on the Myles Boykin project). With so much talent, it is hard to shy away from falling in love with Marshall’s potential. However, his red flags might be his downfall, which sends him falling into the second round for this report.
Final Grade (59.75/100): Second Round
Player Comp: DeVante Parker