By Charlotte Observer
Carolina Panthers selected LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. with the 59th overall pick in the second round of 2021 NFL draft Friday night. He’s the first offensive player drafted by head coach Matt Rhule, who’s entering his second season.
Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady coached Marshall at LSU in 2019 when the Tigers won the National Championship. During that season, Marshall caught 46 passes for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is known as a bigger receiver that is more comfortable outside than in the slot and is a reliable ball-catcher.
“He’s the player that (Frisman) Jackson, our receiver coach, Joe (Brady), they had ranked at the top of the board,” Rhule said. “I think he was the second receiver taken today. To me, he’s a big outside guy. I think the biggest thing Joe said, he can play outside and inside, which is really paramount in the things that we try to do.”
Wide receiver was not the most obvious hole for the Panthers, but it is an area that the team needs to address in the long term. The team just picked up wide receiver DJ Moore’s fifth-year option Thursday, and he is now under contract for the next two seasons. Robby Anderson, however, will become a free agent after this year and Curtis Samuel departed in free agency for Washington after having a career year.
The team did sign free agent David Moore in free agency, but wide receiver was a position they were looking to address in the draft to support quarterback Sam Darnold and continue to build out the offense.
This past year, Marshall, 20, started the first seven games of the season before opting out. He had 48 receptions for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns. During his LSU career, Marshall started 20 games and finished tied for fourth in school history in career touchdown receptions (23). He is one of only six players in LSU history with at least 1,500 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.
Marshall caught at least one pass in 27 of the 32 games he played with the Tigers.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver likely have been selected earlier in the draft if not for some medical concerns related to two leg injuries suffered in high school. He had his left knee scoped in January, but the wide receiver feels he is now fully healthy.
“(Opting-out) played a part in my injuries, but I took care of those injuries. I had surgery back in January and I participated in the pro day,” Marshall said. “I was 100% by pro day. I did everything and performed well at pro day, wasn’t injured and now I’m here. I’m just ready to get to work.”
He is now the youngest player on the roster and will turn 21 on June 9.
Marshall was Carolina’s second pick of the draft after trading with the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns in two separate trades to start Friday night. They ended up making a total of four trades Friday.
The wide receiver wasn’t surprised that the Panthers were interested in reuniting him with Brady.
“Oh man, I think our relationship played a big part in (getting picked by the Panthers),” Marshall said. “I just appreciate them giving me a chance. Come out there and show out. I promise they won’t regret it. I’m just ready to get down and get to work.”