LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, viewed by many to be the best WR prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft class, put on a show at his pro day on Wednesday. Chase measured in at 6-foot, 201 pounds and ran the 40 in 4.38 seconds. He had a 41-inch vertical and an 11-foot broad jump.
It was an important day for Chase, who opted out of the 2020 season at LSU. Wednesday was his opportunity to show he's stayed in shape and he's ready for the NFL. He almost certainly solidified his place as a top 10 pick, and potentially the first receiver off the board.
"I just want to be great," Chase said after his pro day workout Wednesday. "There's no way for me to sit down outside and be lazy and get passed up every day. Someone is always outworking me somehow and someway. I got to remember that and keep working."
Detroit sits at No. 7 in the draft, and depending on how extensive the run of quarterbacks is ahead of Detroit, the Lions could be in a position to select Chase at No. 7. Not to say Chase would definitely be general manager Brad Holmes' pick at 7 in that scenario, but the Lions still have a need at receiver, even after adding veterans Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, Kalif Raymond and Damion Ratley in free agency, and returning Quintez Cephus and Geronimo Allison from last season. Detroit lost their top three receivers from last year, including Pro Bowler Kenny Golladay, who signed with the Giants in free agency. Chase has the kind of skill set where he could potentially be a No. 1 caliber receiver in the NFL.
Chase put up 1,780 yards and 20 scores with a 21.2-yard average per reception as Joe Burrow's favorite target in the Tigers' run to a national title in 2019. Eight of those touchdown catches went for 50-plus yards.
"Chase is a dominant player on tape," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote of Chase, who is Jeremiah's No. 2 overall prospect in his most recent Top 50 prospects ranking. "He lined up both outside and in the slot at LSU. He defeats press coverage with a combination of foot quickness and upper-body strength. He creates separation off the line of scrimmage and he can also find another gear when the ball is in the air.
"He is a clean route runner. He won't gear down in traffic and has very strong hands to pluck and play through contact. He attacks 50-50 balls and consistently wins. Chase is at his best after the catch. He routinely breaks tackles and can make defenders miss, too. He did have a couple drops when the ball was on his back hip but I have no concerns about his hands. Overall, I love Chase's attacking style of play and see him as a faster version of three-time Pro Bowl selectee Anquan Boldin."
Holmes said this week it's important to know all players who are deserving of a selection in the top 10. Chase is among that group of players.
When it comes to matching production, tape and physical testing, Chase checked all the boxes Wednesday.