Once again, the wide receiver class for this year’s NFL draft is deep. With a bunch of good options available the Cincinnati Bengals are almost certainly going to add one (if not a couple) weapons to help Joe Burrow continue to make strides in his second year under center in Cincinnati.
Ja’Marr Chase seems to be the favorite to become that next weapon for the Bengals, but if the Bengals have a change of heart and look to the second round for receiving help, they should look no further than Burrow and Chase’s former teammate, Terrace Marshall Jr.
Terrace Marshall Jr.
Position: Wide receiver
Weight: 205 lbs
Projected Round: Late First/Early Second
Marshall was one of the key weapons that helped see LSU to an undefeated season and a National Championship in 2019. Playing alongside Chase and Justin Jefferson, Marshall in his career at LSU is no stranger to competing against high level talent each in every day in his position room.
A big, fast receiver with solid hands, Marshall posses the talent to become an instant impact guy on Sundays. He possess the ability to play both inside and outside, but really shows his strength when he reaches the second or third levels of the defense. With his length and speed combo he is able to get good space between him and his defender to complete those big plays all offenses are looking for in todays game. When you drop him in the slot he is able to gain inside leverage, and is able to showcase the type of grit you are looking for when it comes to yards after the catch. Overall, Marshall does project to be an “X” receiver at the NFL level.
Alongside all of the route running tools that he posses, it might be his hands that will get his name called earlier in this draft. Numerous times over his career, he shocked fans and scouts with his ability to go and make a play. When there is a player with Marshall’s size and his catch radius, it brings potential for some big-time highlights to be made each week.
Marshall also has a lot to prove when it comes to his professional career. There are a lot of experts that have some doubt in his ability to stay focused each week. With the competition he will have to face to fight his way into a WR2 role on any team, this should be something that comes to pass once camps get under way.
Fit with the Bengals
People may look at this as a weird fit considering Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are the top options on the roster when it comes to wide-outs. With the pursuit of Kenny Golladay though, it is clear that the staff is wanting to add another playmaker alongside the young duo. Why not make it a guy Burrow is already familiar with?
Last season, before the injury to Burrow, the offense proved capable of spreading out the offense among three receivers. With the hole left by AJ Green this offseason, it leaves the perfect spot for a player to come in and add another explosive piece to help continue bring this offense along.
It will have to be a wait-and-see approach when it comes to Marshall being available with the 38th overall pick, but if he is, and they selected Penei Sewell in the first round, expect Marshall to be right near the top of the Bengals’ draft board.