Ja’Marr Chase is not ready to sit on his 2021 NFL Draft standing
So far, we have had three 2021 NFL Draft prospects opt out of the 2020 season in favor of training for the NFL. However, LSU star wide receiver and returning Biletnikoff Award winner Ja’Marr Chase is not ready to sit on his portfolio of tape, as he is committed to playing football this fall.
While Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons, and Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman have all opted out of the season, Chase will not join their party. Despite losing Joe Burrow, responsible for maybe the most historic season ever seen by a college quarterback, Chase is still out to prove he can get better.
Looking at the 2019 campaign of Ja’Marr Chase
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Winning the Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s best receiver a year ago as a sophomore, Chase ran through the 2019 schedule (as did the Tigers) to post a gaudy stat line. Catching 84 passes from Burrow a year ago, Chase racked up a whopping 1,780 yards receiving and 20 touchdowns for the Tigers.
He did this while sharing touches with first round pick of the Minnesota Vikings Justin Jefferson. Now that Jefferson is out the door, Chase has the potential to see even more targets come his way in 2020 as he looks to solidify himself as the top receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft class.
The 2021 NFL Draft stock report on Ja’Marr Chase
Currently, Chase is set to enter the season at or near the top of most people’s wide receiver rankings. While he is not as athletic and does not possess the speed of Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle or Purdue’s Rondale Moore, it is hard to find a stronger receiver down the field and at the catch point than Chase.
Pro Football Network’s Matt Valdovinos thinks Chase’s projection to the next level depends on his landing spot, however:
"His skill-set is best suited down the field, so getting drafted to a team that rarely takes shots 20+ yards down the field could be detrimental to his production. However, getting drafted to a team that is willing to let it fly could dominant production from Chase. How NFL teams evaluate and value Chase will be one of the most interesting storylines of the 2021 NFL Draft."
Does Chase have anything to lose? Yes. Does he have much more to gain? No. However, the competitive drive of Chase will not keep him from the football field despite all of the outside circumstances in 2020.