(Editor's Note: While the start of the 2018 NFL Draft isn't until April 26, it's never too early to profile some of the key participants. The staff of DallasCowboys.com intends to preview the landscape of the draft's top prospect, with an emphasis on possible Cowboys draft picks – from the first round to the last. Today's featured player is LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark.)
- Name: D.J. Chark
- Position: WR
- Honors:Senior Bowl Co-MVP, 2nd-team All-SEC
- Key Stat:There's no denying Chark's big-play ability. He averaged 17.9 yards per reception in 2016 as a junior, and he averaged 21.9 yards per reception in 2017.
Where He's Projected:
That's an interesting conversation. Chark was seen as more of a mid-tier prospect coming into the draft process, as there are other wide receivers like Alabama's Calvin Ridley and Texas A&M's Christian Kirk garnering more notoriety. That all changed when Chark went to the Senior Bowl in Mobile. Ala., and chalked up a co-MVP performance in the game. Chark caught five balls for 160 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown, to solidify his reputation as a big-play threat. He'll have another opportunity to up his draft stock at the NFL Combine, as he possesses an impressive amount of speed for a 6-3 wide receiver. Chark entered this process with a mid-round grade, but with his combination of size and speed, there are plenty who think he could climb as high as a top 50 draft pick.
How He Helps The Cowboys:
There's been no shortage of conversation about the Cowboys' need for receiver help, and Chark fits that need for a number of reasons. He's got fantastic size to go along with the Cowboys' bigger receivers like Dez Bryant and Noah Brown, but he also has a surprising amount of speed for that frame. Chark averaged almost 22 yards per reception during his final season at LSU, as he was a constant threat to take the top off of opposing defenses. He's probably not as good of a route runner as the Cowboys would prefer, but that can always be improved upon. For the time being, his speed and deep ball ability alone might make him intriguing for an offense that lacked big plays last year.
- This is a talented, wildly inconsistent player that will test your evaluation skills every step of the way.
- He flashes big play ability along with mind numbing mistakes.
- He makes the difficult appear routine and the routine appear difficult.
- He has been handicapped throughout his career with a quarterback that struggled to get him the ball with any consistency.
- He fits a lot of schemes due to his size and ability to separate.
- Chark has no problems getting down the field and that's clear the times you study him.
- It's the consistency with the drops that is the biggest issue.
- Big risk/reward player for me but has just as much talent as those great LSU receiver playing in the league today.