WR Ja’Marr Chase, Lousiana St.* (6’0”, 208)
Worked into the offense as a freshman, catching 23-313-3 (13.6) over ten games, then exploded the following season, finishing with an incredible 84-1,780-20 (21.2). Decided to opt out of this past season in order to prepare for the draft.
Highly productive player from a program which has produced several recent high-end pro receivers. A strongly-built, competitive outside receiver who takes snaps both inside and outside and from both sides of the field. Very technically sound. Really feasts against off-coverage but also has quick feet and strong hand use at the line of scrimmage to release against press coverage. Runs routes to all three levels, predominantly short and down the sideline. A lot of his patterns are breaking routes over the middle of the field, and does a good job of getting and maintaining inside positioning with snap at the route stem. Effective at the subtle push-off to create separation at the stem and downfield; also sets up pick plays well. Does a nice job of improvising when the play breaks down to help his quarterback. Able to make contested catches. Shows solid awareness and body control when working down the sidelines; has incredible leaping ability and can often be seen pirouetting and high-pointing balls downfield. Does a nice job of working his way back to the ball rather than letting it come to him. Physical blocker who works hard to engage and sustain through the whistle. Pre-draft workout went a long way toward addressing any concerns about his speed/athleticism.
Height is just adequate for a boundary receiver. Not as fast as his yards-per-catch figure would lead you to believe; overall play speed is solid but not game-breaking. Doesn’t create quite as much separation as you would like to see, forcing him to make more contested catches than is typical for a top prospect. Decided to opt out of the 2020 season, leaving him with just one year of high-end production.
A pro-ready receiver prospect who has the strength and footwork to release at the line, who runs crisp routes and understands positioning, who aggressively works back to the ball and shows the ability to make contested catches, and who gets physical as a blocker in the run game. Not the biggest or most freakish receiver prospect in recent years, but it’s looking like he’ll go high in the first round, likely in the top ten, owing to his level of polish and the relative lack of question marks surrounding his game.