WR D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars
Despite being rarely used in college, LSU wide receivers are spread all across the NFL landscape. DJ Chark is the next Tiger to enter the league with relatively high expectations. He averaged 675 yards and three touchdowns on 33 receptions over his Junior and senior seasons, which is not terrible considering the run-first offense LSU always displays. Chark showed off his excellent athletic ability at the combine, posting incredible numbers across the board. With a blazing 4.34-second 40-yard dash, 40-inch vertical, and nearly 11-foot broad jump, Chark proved that he and his 6’3” frame can move all over the field with ease.
The Scout’s Notes
Chark’s 6’3” 199-pound frame bodes well when being used deep down field, but as an overall receiver, he is extremely raw and will take some time to develop. Although he runs his 40-yard dash in the mid-4.30s, Chark often struggles to get off the line of scrimmage quickly. When defensive backs are in zone coverage and not pressing, Chark is able to gain speed and work smoothly downfield where he is best used. He high-points the ball well and can jump out of his shoes to come down with contested catches. His hands are not great, as he often drops easily-catchable passes. Chark is explosive with the ball in his hands and runs away from defenders with his tall body and great speed. His route tree runs very thin and his overall route running needs improvement. He often rounds off the top of his routes, allowing defensive backs to close quickly and make plays on the pass. Chark has a certain stiffness while running routes that will not satisfy in the NFL. He is a good blocker and will excel in that area of the game, largely in part to the blocking he was forced to do at LSU.
The Jaguars selected Chark at the end of the second round, surprising many people. Though the Jacksonville depth chart is not loaded with studs, it is crowded and many of the receivers will fight for targets throughout the extent of the season. Donte Moncrief, Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, and Keelan Cole will all be in the mix, so expect Chark to mix in on deep passing concepts and run blocking schemes but not much else. Chark’s 2018 fantasy output will be limited to the return game and occasional 60-yard catch. Chark will be what everyone wanted Breshad Perriman to be but will still disappoint fantasy owners. He will be more valuable to the Jaguars than dynasty owners. He would be a decent selection in the mid-late third round, but there are still likely better fantasy options at that point in rookie drafts.
The first play at 3:34, Chark lines up at the bottom of the screen against press coverage. His release off the line is not terrible, but he is unable to shake the cornerback, allowing him to stick closely throughout the route. Danny Etling, the quarterback, throws the ball down the sideline, and Chark works back to the pass to make the contested catch. He does not create a ton of separation, but this is how Chark will be used in the NFL: stretch the field and allow the quarterback to throw it up and give him a chance to make a big play for the offense.