The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday. While we have all talked about potential Miami Dolphins draft targets, we have never taken a closer look at each of them here on The Phinsider. We fix that starting today with a closer look at a potential pick for Miami with the sixth-overall selection.
From now through Thursday, we will bring you a series of posts about potential Dolphins draft prospects, taking a look at the player’s measurables, what analysts are saying about the player, and how he could fit in with the Dolphins.
First up, LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase:
Career: 24 games, 107 rec, 2,093 yards, 23 TDs
- Freshman (2018, LSU): 10 games, 23 rec, 313 yards, 3 TDs
- Sophomore (2019, LSU): 14 games, 84 rec, 1,780 yards, 20 TDs; Fred Biletnikoff Award (Best WR) winner
- Junior (2020, LSU): Opt out
From LSU pro day:
Height: 6’ 0-3/8”
Weight: 201 lbs
Arm Length: 30-3/4”
Hand size: 9-5/8”
Spider Chart (via MockDraftable.com)
From LSU pro day:
Bench Press: N/A
Broad jump: 9’ 4”
40-yard dash: 4.38 sec
20-yard shuttle: 3.98 sec
3-cone drill: 7.00 sec
What the are saying
Max Toscano, And The Valley Shook! - Ja’Marr Chase is a complete receiver. He is freakishly strong, incredibly athletic, and has absurd ball skills. Don’t forget, he did all of this at 19. There is rightfully little question about who the first receiver off the board will be, even despite sitting out a year where the guy behind him won the Heisman. That’s how good Chase is. He is the best receiver prospect to ever come out of LSU, and if this quarterback class weren’t so loaded, he’d go in the top-3.
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com - We could sit here and talk about the marginal route-running issues or challenges getting off press. However, Chase is supremely talented as a ball winner and playmaker. After all, routes and release can be coached. He had some issues when Trevon Diggs and Cameron Dantzler gave hard jams to his release in 2019, so that will need to be addressed. His burst is effortless, which tends to catch coverage off guard when he really hits the vertical gas. His competitive nature and play strength simply act as multipliers for his outstanding ball skills. He hasn’t played football since very early in 2020 and still has work to do, but he should be an early starter and a future Pro Bowler.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com - As I was studying Chase, I couldn’t help but notice how many quality cornerbacks he dominated last fall. The SEC is littered with NFL-caliber defensive backs, and he got the best of almost every single one. His competitiveness is off-the-charts impressive. He just refuses to give himself up. You never see him run out of bounds with the ball in his hands. He will lower his shoulder against defenders and, like most outstanding wide receivers, he can find another gear when he needs it. Once the ball goes up in the air, you can see him accelerate and separate. He’s a special, special talent.
Laurie Fitzpatrick, DraftWire/USA Today - Chase has above-average speed, leaping ability and explosiveness, and his film backs up his athleticism. He’ll be a deep threat who can make big plays, and also beat average corners in the red zone. Chase will expand his release arsenal with a wide receiver coach that can show him how to use his size to his advantage, and he will undoubtedly be an immediate starter in the NFL. Expect to see him on NFL Red Zone early and often.
Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network - Ja’Marr Chase is a dominant game-controlling receiver who projects well to the NFL. He’s smooth and fluid, quickly releases into pass routes, and immediately gets to top speed. Chase also possesses a burst of speed that helps him separate from opponents. Chase is a gifted athlete and natural receiver who dominated at the college level and should easily adapt to the NFL. He projects as a number one wideout at the next level and is a terrific 2021 NFL Draft prospect with incredible upside.
Chet Gresham, Draft Kings Nation - With only one full season as a starter, Chase isn’t as polished as Alabama’s DeVonta Smith, but he has better size and speed. His “weaknesses” are in his route running and getting off the line against press coverage. These are both areas he will be able to improve on in the NFL with more reps. His strengths are where you need his strengths to be with just one full season as a college starter. His acceleration and natural instincts make him impossible to consistently cover by even the best college corners. When he sees a 50/50 ball, it’s his, as he plays bigger than his six-feet, positioning his body well while high-pointing the ball. He has an innate feel for the deep ball in the air, as he’s able to adjust and stay balanced at great speeds.
The Dolphins have to consider Chase if he is on the board with the sixth-overall pick. Really, with that sixth pick, it seems like Miami has a coin toss between Chase and Florida tight end Kyle Pitts should both be on the board. Miami comes into this Draft needing to add weapons for the offense and adding Chase to a wide receiver corps with DeVante Parker and Will Fuller would give the Dolphins a dynamic trio of weapons for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The only hesitation Miami should have in selecting Chase with the sixth pick is if somehow both Chase and Pitts are still on the board.