No. 2 Overall Wide Receiver by Football Addicts
Weight: 205 Lbs
Position: Wide Receiver
Coming out of Archbishop Rummel High School, Ja’Marr Chase was one of the top recruits in the state of Louisiana. 247Sports viewed him as the No. 1 player in the state and a five-star wide receiver. Other recruiting sites like Rivals and ESPN had him rated slightly lower as a four-star. Nonetheless, Chase showed his dominance throughout his high school career graduating with 115 receptions for 2,157 yards and 30 touchdowns. Over 25 schools offered Chase a scholarship with TCU, Auburn, and Michigan all being high on his list. In the end though the LSU Tigers and Ed Orgeron were able to lock up his commitment on February 7th, 2018.
Chase’s short career at LSU would start as a true freshman. He would finish his 2018 season tied for second in catches with 23 and third in receiving yards with 313. He played in all 13 games, starting in seven of them, and averaged 13.6 yards a reception. Saving his best for last as he recorded six catches for 93 yards in the Fiesta Bowl against Central Florida.
Many know how Ja’Marr Chase and the rest of the LSU Tiger’s 2019 went. He put up 84 receptions for 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns, cementing himself as one of the best receivers in school history. That would set the LSU record for most receiving yards in a single season. On top of that his 20 touchdowns were the most in a single season from an SEC receiver. Chase unleashed his full wrath against Clemson in the 2019 National Championship game. By the end of the night he would have nine catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns.
Ja’Marr Chase joined an expeditiously growing list of players to opt out of the 2020 season though his was not medical related. CBS’s Dennis Dodd was told the decision was more based on agents, and others convincing him it is best to skip this season. LSU would have key defensive players Tyler Shelvin and Kary Vincent join Chase in opting out for the season. With such a high turnover across the team with the opt outs and the NFL Draft, it was no surprise how the Tigers 2020 would turn out.Playing or not playing, we know Chase’s ability. That’s why I would have to agree with his decision to opt-out of the season.
Strengths and Weaknesses
One of the most overall well rounded receiver prospects I have watched. Chase has speed, great hands, an NFL frame and a solid route tree. Chase does a great job at disguising his routes so that corners have a difficult time guarding him. His ability to create separation makes up for his straight line speed.
He consistently shows off his strength and ability to put man cornerbacks. Being stuffed at the line of scrimmage is not something you will have to worry about with Ja’Marr Chase. This strength also makes him very hard to tackle giving him plenty of YAC opportunity.
Ja’Marr Chase has already found a way to work with what he has. He won’t be the fastest receiver or a D.K. Metcalf but don’t let that scare you. He carries more than enough speed and agility to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL as he grows into his own.
He also isn’t as plug and play as someone like CeeDee Lamb or D.K. Metcalf are. Chase needs to go to a team that will use him as an outside receiver, especially early in his career, and let him use his strength to win one on one battles. He has the potential to be a superstar, but it might take time to throw him all over the field. Á la Calvin Ridley or even D.K. Metcalf.
NFL Draft Projection/NFL Player Comp
NFL Draft Projection
I have no doubt that Ja’Marr Chase will be called upon very early in the 2021 NFL Draft. He has a firm grasp of the WR1 in the 2021 NFL Draft class, and put up unbelievable numbers in 2019. There are plenty of teams that could be looking to upgrade their receiver core inside the Top 10 picks. The Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, and Philadelphia Eagles pick back to back to back. I highly doubt he falls outside that range, and if he does, the Giants will not pass him up at No. 11.
NFL Player Comp
This is definitely one of the boldest comparisons I have ever published but I am confident that Ja’Marr Chase will be a Pro Bowl level receiver. Even though he won’t test nearly as well as other elite prospects, Chase is still a dominant receiver. His best attribute is something unmeasured, and that is his toughness/physicality. Similarly to DeAndre Hopkins when he was coming out of Clemson in 2013.
With how electric Hopkins is you would think his combine numbers would be eye popping. However, Nuk ran a 4.57 40-yard dash, posted a 36 inch vertical and pumped out 15 reps on the bench press. Not exactly eye popping if you ask me but I expect Chase to test very similar.