By EJ Daniels
Photo Credit: USA TODAY
Terrace Marshall LSU
At 6’3 200lbs Terrace Marshall has that rare size and speed combination. With the ability to play in the slot and on the outside, his versatility should be coveted by the Bills early in the draft.
Marshall has pro bowl talent with the ability to win with his speed and size in contested catch situations. Coupled with the fact, he has the physicality to catch thru contact. In addition, displays his competitive toughness by consistently mixing it up in run game with downfield blocking.
His ability to work thru zones speaks to his football instincts. Showing the ability to work thru coverages and make great reads, which is one of the more underrated skills that WRs lack going to the next level.
Marshall’s use of his hands on his releases coupled with his speed and acceleration makes it tough for opposing DBs to jam him at the line; creating much separation especially on deeper routes.
The question that remains for Marshall is can he learn the nuisances of route running to be a more sudden WR? For a guy who is straight-line fast, he lacks the speed in and out of his breaks to create that consistent separation and suddenness. He relies too much on his speed and not enough on the technical aspects of WR. He lacks the violent hips that it takes to have efficient change of direction skills.
The upside for the Bills picking Marshall is that he would have the luxury of learning from two of the best route runners in the league in Diggs and Beasley. Route Running is a skill that can be honed over time and if the Bills picked Marshall in the second round, coupled with some patience, they could have a pro bowl caliber receiver on their hands.
With the uncertainty surrounding John Brown investing in a top notch weapon for Josh Allen would be wise. Projecting Buffalo to have one of the most versatile WR corps with Diggs, Beasley, Davis, and Marshall.
Dyami Brown UNC
If you’re looking for speed and juice look no further than 6’1 185lbs Dyami Brown from UNC. His 14 career TDs of 20+ yards or more are good for third in this class and his 543 deep yards was the second most in college football.
Brown has legit speed that scares opposing DBs. He has the acceleration, quickness, and explosiveness to take any reception to the house from anywhere on the field. The most impressive part of his game is his ability to win in one on one situations with not only his speed but his releases.
Many times he is shown on film diversifying his release packages. By manipulating his tempo and being sudden by manipulating his speed, to beat WRs inside or outside. While, showing good use of hands to not let DBs put hands on him and using his uncanny acceleration to gain at least two or three steps of separation on DBs
The only real question that remains about him, is the number of routes he was asked to run. Other than deep routes and slants he really doesn’t have a diversified route tree. In addition, when he lines up against NFL speed and physicality how will he win and create separation without having to only rely on his speed?
If the Bills were to draft Brown, I can see Daboll using him similarly to how Gabe Davis was used this season. While not as big as Davis, Brown still possess the speed that only few WRs in the NFL have and with his ability to win at the line against press. Josh Allen will have no problem throwing it deep to Brown and letting him go get it. A 3 WR set of Dyami Brown, Diggs, and Gabe Davis is scary to just think about. Brain Daboll would cry scheming plays for this trio.
Tylan Wallace Oklahoma State
Standing 6’0 190lbs Tylan Wallace possesses the same skill set as the aforementioned Dyami Brown. Where Wallace differs from Brown is his work in contested catch situations; the former triple jump champion grabbed 44 contested catches over his career.
Wallace was also one of the most productive WRs in his time at Oklahoma State. With 205 catches, 3,424 yards, and 25 TDs only DeVonta Smith had better production than Wallace of the WRs in this draft class.
Wallace can be best categorized as a “get it in his hands” guy. He has the game breaking speed and physicality to take a screen from behind the line of scrimmage all the way to the house.
While many will point to his limited route tree as a concern; what stood out to me on tape was his patience and manipulation of tempo on the routes that he did run.
He has the solid ability to manipulate halves of his body to sell deep routes specifically his work on double moves. Using his eyes, and body manipulation to fool defenders into “taking the bait” while he uses his speed and good pad level to beat DBs deep.
These kinds of subtle details into route running should give teams some optimism for him to learn and apply this same kind of diligence to learning the other routes on the route tree.
The one issue that is concerning as with most smaller WRs is dealing with physicality. Wallace can be seen too many times being re-routed by any physical DB. Most of his snaps have come on the outside so for him to succeed at the next level he will have to improve his hand usage and improve his release package to use his quickness as weapon to combat that physicality.
Wallace also suffered an ACL injury in 2019, but was able to comeback with no setbacks. You hate to see such a major injury on a prospects resume, but his 2020 tape showed that he should be all systems go.
If the Bills don’t land Brown or Marshall, Wallace could be a nice late Day 2 speedy chess piece that offers Brain Daboll more than current gadget WR Isiah McKenzie especially if he walks in free agency.