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LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase Declares for 2021 NFL Draft After Opting out of CFB Season

LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase plays against Vanderbilt in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Having already opted out of the 2020 college football season, LSU star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase announced Tuesday his intention to declare for the 2021 NFL draft. 

Chase said he made his final decision after taking two weeks to weigh the matter with his family.

The news doesn’t come as a surprise since the junior is widely considered one of the top overall players in the 2021 draft class. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller projected the New York Jets to select Chase fifth overall in his most recent mock draft:

“Chase emerged as a rockstar last season in a breakout 20-touchdown campaign as the LSU offense caught fire. His 4.40-second 40-yard-dash speed and physical route-running at 6’0″ and 208 pounds should allow for an easy transition to the NFL and make him perfect as a breaking route-runner for Darnold and the New York Jets offense.”

Following a nondescript freshman year, Chase’s profile exploded in 2019 as LSU went on to win a national championship. He caught 84 passes for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns, production that helped him claim the Biletnikoff Award.

LSU Football @LSUfootball

Can’t Guard Him

Ja’Marr Chase is putting up the numbers to back it up 💪 https://t.co/fMJfBknY59

With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing this season into disarray, a number of prominent players have either opted out or won’t be playing because their respective conferences postponed fall sports.

The danger in opting out for some is they’re missing out on valuable game time they could’ve used to solidify their draft stock or skyrocket up teams’ boards. Joe Burrow went from a possible Day 3 selection to the No.  1 overall pick thanks to his 2019 performance.

Miller’s evaluation of Chase points to the fact the 6’1″ pass-catcher doesn’t need to do much more to impress NFL talent evaluators. Barring an injury, he appears to be in safe standing as a possible top-10 pick.