For those curious as to how the LSU pro day's would affect the minds of NFL scouts and draft evaluators, ESPN's Todd McShay's latest mock draft ensures it was a positive day for three former players.
McShay had three LSU players going in the top two rounds in his latest mock draft, including receivers Ja'Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall proving to be first round selections. Chase landed at No. 5 to the Bengals in the latest projected draft from McShay, a popular destination for a guy who should be the first receiver off the board after a 4.38 40-yard dash and 41-inch vertical.
"Chase is the best wide receiver in the class, and he set then-SEC records in 2019 with Bengals QB Joe Burrow under center for LSU. An opt-out in 2020, Chase is a physical matchup for any cornerback, and he is incredible at tracking and adjusting to the ball in the air," McShay wrote.
A presumptive top 10 pick, Chase recently accepted an invite to be at the 2021 draft in Cleveland on April 29, where he'll no doubt hear his name called relatively early.
“I would say I kind of surprised myself. I was going for a low 4.4 (second 40-yard dash), but last night I was feeling good about my starts, I felt like I could’ve got a 4.3 this morning," Chase said. "Lately I have been just catching balls, getting back into my groove. Trying to work on a lot of receiver work right now."
As for Marshall, McShay has the three-year starting receiver going No. 27 overall to the Baltimore Ravens, a popular destination for him. If this were to happen, he'd be reunited with former teammate Patrick Queen but also give quarterback Lamar Jackson a vertical weapon for a passing game that really struggled in 2020.
"The Ravens were the only team in the NFL with fewer than 2,000 passing yards when targeting wide receivers last season -- they were well short of even the second-worst team at 1,729 yards," McShay wrote. "This one is a no-brainer for me. Marshall has 6-foot-4 size, is explosive downfield and caught 10 TDs last season for LSU."
Marshall, who opted out of the final three games of the 2020 season for the Tigers, makes a ton of sense for teams like the Ravens, New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers, all teams that need receiver help as potential contenders.
The former LSU receiver has learned that the most important part of adapting to professional life is managing not only his play on the field but learning the business side of the NFL as well.
“Everything is a business. As soon as you get out of college, you instantly got to start handling your business. Whether it’s getting your money right with taxes, getting everything in the real world right," Marshall said. "It’s just teaching me you’ve got to grow up fast, just stay on your Ps and Qs. It’s the real world and you’ve got to get yourself ready for it."
Finally, McShay has linebacker Jabril Cox landing with the Miami Dolphins at pick No. 50. Though Cox only played one season in Baton Rouge, he proved to be a playmaker, recording three interceptions and being among the team leaders in tackles.
He didn't participate in the LSU pro day last week because of a minor injury but has let NFL teams know he'll be 100% in a few weeks and would like to do workouts closer to the draft for interested teams. Cox also had a very nice showing at the Senior Bowl which no doubt aided his draft stock.
"Cox excels in coverage -- he has nine career interceptions -- and could be a replacement for Kyle Van Noy," McShay wrote.
A lot can change in three weeks but for now it appears LSU can expect to be well represented in the first handful of picks at the 2021 draft.