He may not be getting the praise several other receivers in this class due to mediocre production in college, but there’s no doubt that LSU product D.J. Chark has immense talent and the capability of being a dynamic threat as a receiver and returner in the NFL. The Denver Broncos appear to be interested, as they brought in the play-making wide receiver for a private workout and top thirty visit earlier this week.
Buried on the Tigers’ depth chart the first two seasons in the Bayou, Chark started to emerge in his junior campaign and saved his best for last, racking up 874 yards on 40 catches as a senior. If you do the math, that’s almost a 22 yard per catch average — which is absolutely insane. Throw it up deep and somehow, someway. . . he always seems to come up with the clutch catch for big yards that changes the tone of the game. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a player on the Broncos who could torch defenders deep and help bring back the vertical passing game to the Mile High City? I certainly think so.
LSU WR D.J. Chark (#7) checks all the boxes. Great size-speed ratio (6027/199/4.34, 40" VJ). Elite deep threat but more than just straight-line guy. Makes catches inside, dangerous RAC, and has returned punts. See the full variety here: https://t.co/t2R6WAI0Gu@DJChark82 pic.twitter.com/VTpOHIwgqt— Kevin Brown (@nfldraftnik) March 30, 2018
Overall, Chark totaled six touchdowns this past season, with three of them as a receiver, two on punt returns and one as a rusher. Those numbers exemplify his versatility as a prospect and there’s no question his multi-threat ability would be an incredible addition to the Broncos’ offense, which ranked as one of the worst in the NFL last season. If the Broncos are serious about upgrading their woeful offense, considering Chark early on in the 2018 NFL Draft is something they need to give serious consideration to. Let’s take a deeper look into Chark as a prospect and where you could expect Denver to be able to draft him later on this month.
D.J. Chark, Senior, WR — LSU
Height: 6’3” Weight: 199 lbs
Arm Length: 32 3/8” Hands: 9 1/4”
40-Yard Dash: 4.34 Bench Press: 16 reps Vertical Jump: 40”
Hart’s Scouting Report on D.J. Chark
Hails from a school known for producing NFL caliber talent at the position. Versatile prospect with experience on the outside and inside in the slot. Tall receiver with long arms and the hops to contest regularly on jump balls. Has the extra gear and “see you later” speed teams dream of. Routinely destroys off-man and zone coverage, and leaves opposing corners looking goofy with his incredible double moves. Strong hands and only dropped several passes his senior season. One of, if not the most explosive deep ball threats in this entire draft class. Bested one of this year’s top corners, Carlton Davis, in their match-up this season. Shined all week at the Senior Bowl and was the game’s co-MVP. Utilized effectively as a runner on jet sweeps that allow him to make plays in space and take advantage of his world-class speed and athleticism. Displays effort and open-minded attitude as a blocker. Last but not least, Chark offers dual-threat value as a prospect due to his returning ability.
D.J. Chark went off today against Arkansas. pic.twitter.com/ksJ0wwCya0— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) November 11, 2017
One-year wonder with limited college production outside his senior season. Struggled against the top defenses he played against. (Though inconsistent quarterback play needs to be factored as well.) In order to be more effective as a blocker and against press coverage, he needs add more weight to his frame and improve his overall strength. Has more route tree experience than most, but needs a lot of work to polish off his route running and needs to do a much better job selling his routes.
Does LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark make sense for the Broncos?
Absolutely. One major aspect of the Broncos’ passing attack that has been missing the past few seasons are big plays down the field. That’s why it is no surprise that they brought Chark in for a private workout and top thirty visit, because quite simply, that’s his bread and butter. Not only do they need a player to fill that role on the squad for the 2018 campaign, they also need another receiver who profiles as a legitimate starter for their long-term goals as a franchise. Without question, he checks the boxes in both those areas.
He is far from the sum of all his parts, but Chark’s upside and game-changing ability as a receiver and punt returner will make him a highly sought after prospect. You can coach up all of his deficiencies, but you can’t coach his all-world speed and athletic ability. A lot of prospects in this year’s draft class at receiver don’t have many “elite traits”, but Chark has several. With that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he sneaks into the end of the draft’s first round or if he is off the board by the time the Broncos’ second round selection is on the clock.