Terrace Marshall Jr. may not be currently receiving the same buzz as recent and future top LSU draft picks and fellow wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase, but how much of that is driven by his 2020 midseason opt-out after playing in a borderline disastrous 2020 pass game? Too much. Marshall has all of the traits that translate to Fantasy football success at the NFL level, and the Panthers took the chance on him in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft to join what they hope is a passing game on the verge of breaking out.
Marshall is more than just a traits-driven prospect. In fact, Marshall was 247Sports' No. 1 WR prospect in his high school class and the 287th-highest ranked recruit at any position in their database's history. Marshall also has the production to back it up. More importantly, Marshall dominated in the toughest conference in college football at a very early age. Dominating at an early age has been an indicator of future success at the next level, and as Marshall enters the NFL, he'll bring with him a combination of size, speed, ball skills and past production that make him an excellent bet for immediate and sustainable production.
We're breaking down everything you need to know about Marshall from a Fantasy manager perspective, including his 2021 impact, Dynasty outlook, measurables, scouting report, key stats and an NFL comparison.
2021 Fantasy impact
The Panthers had three wide receivers rank inside of the top 30 in Fantasy points per game in 2020, and they're hoping Marshall can step into the spot in the lineup vacated by Curtis Samuel. Obviously, he won't be the same kind of player as Samuel -- it's doubtful they'll use the 6-foot-3 Marshall as a running back too often -- but he can help pick up some of the slack from Samuel's departure. And Marshall has plenty of upside given that opportunity.
Samuel had 97 targets in 15 games in 2020l, while Robby Anderson led the team with 138 and D.J. Moore had 118, also in just 15 games. Of course, that all came with the running backs seeing just 114 targets with Christian McCaffrey missing all but three games. McCaffrey had 142 targets by himself in 2019, so he'll certainly take on more than the running backs did a year ago. So, Samuel is probably looking at maybe 90-95 targets (in a 17-game season), and while Sam Darnold still has potential, he may not be as good as Teddy Bridgewater was in 2020.
Which is all to say, you definitely shouldn't expect Marshall to follow in Samuel's footsteps and be a top-30 WR. But, with the opportunity to get around 90 targets, he could be a Fantasy viable receiver from the start of the season, especially since he might be the Panthers receiver best suited to make plays in the red zone. I've got him in at WR48 in my first run through the rankings, making him the No. 3 WR in this rookie class and someone you'll want on your bench. It could all end in tears if Darnold doesn't improve, but there's big potential in this offense, and Marshall is an interesting target around the 10th round. -- Chris Towers
Marshall was viewed as more of a second round pick in rookie drafts before we knew where he'd end up, but this landing spot could push him into the first round. He should probably go after all of the wide receivers and running backs selected in the first round, plus Kyle Pitts, Trevor Lawrence, and Justin Fields, putting him in contention for a pick around ninth or 10th in standard rookie drafts.
- Explosive ability in and out of his breaks on 90-degree cuts for a 6-3 athlete.
- Excellent feet at the line of scrimmage allow him to stack corners with ease.
- Plus athleticism for a lengthy, tall receiver prospect.
- Great in contested-catch situations on 50/50 balls.
- Excellent ability to track the ball in the air on deep passes and stack CBs to create separation on these routes.
- Surprising elusiveness for a player of his size and nifty ability to create yardage after the catch.
- Has experience and production playing both outside and in the slot (73%+ snaps on outside in 2019, 73%+ snaps in slot in 2020).
- Immediate red-zone threat via his ability to high point the ball, beat press coverage, etc.
- Touchdown machine in Fantasy with 23 TDs over his final 19 games at LSU.
- Big-time production against top-25 opponents at the collegiate level.
- Concentration issues -- dropped 7 of 55 catchable balls.
- At times, Marshall looked disinterested on run plays and pass plays not designed for him during LSU's disappointing 2020 season.
- Wasn't a productive receiver until his junior season.
- While his athletic profile is excellent, there is no defining athletic trait here: Marshall isn't the fastest, most explosive, etc.
- Injury history: Missed time both in high school and at the collegiate level.
|2020 v top 25
|2019 v top 25
Advanced stats to know
- Marshall ranked 21st in yards per route run (2.91) in 2020 among 145 qualifying receivers, per Pro Football Focus.
- Third most red-zone TDs since 2019 (15).
- Fourth-most receiving TDs from the slot in 2020 (8).
- During his final two seasons, Marshall secured 52% (25 targets) of his deep targets for 477 yards, seven touchdowns and a 137.0 passer rating.
- 25 catches on 41 contested catches (as charted by PFF).
- Marshall finished with a college dominator rating (46.5%) in the 92nd percentile and a 19.2 breakout age in the 86th percentile, per Player Profiler.
There is no one-to-one comparison for Marshall at the NFL level, but when I watch him, I see a poor man's Julio Jones. Marshall doesn't quite have the upper body strength or frame that Jones has, but he still has the ability to add size/strength. If he does, he still won't reach Jones' level, but just because he won't project similarly to a future Hall of Famer doesn't mean he can't be a No. 1 WR at the NFL level.