Data Scout Notes: 2017: 2ndC.KR...2016: NAC...2015: NAC
DJ Chark/LSU football Videos
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Darrell "D.J." Chark, Jr. LSU Tigers Wide Receiver 6-3, 197, 4.39, #7 Alexandria, Louisiana Alexandria High School Born September 23, 1996
UPDATE 12/13/17 - 2017 ALL-SEC SECOND TEAM (COACHES): Chark was the go-to weapon in LSU's passing game with well over twice as many receiving yards over the regular season (811) as the Tigers' next receiver but he was selected to the second team all-conference unit as a return specialist. The senior led the league in punt return average with 11.7 per game. Chark totaled two touchdowns on punt returns this season with the most thrilling coming on a 75-yard return against Auburn to spark the Tigers to the largest comeback against an SEC team in Tiger Stadium history.
Regardless of whether the head coach calling the shots was Les Miles or his replacement Ed Orgeron, LSU has primarily relied upon a powerful running game to ignite its offense with pass-catchers - regardless of how dynamic they are - typically serving as complementary big play threats.
Just ask current NFL stars Odell Beckham, Jr. (12) and Jarvis Landry (15), who caught a combined 27 touchdowns in 80 career games together with the Tigers with each eclipsing the 1,000 yard receiving mark just once during that time. Comparing their totals to that of receivers playing in high-octane offenses in the Pac-12 and Big 12, for example, simply does not do them justice - which is why savvy scouts focus more on athletic traits like size, speed, agility and strength rather than box scores to set their draft boards.
From strictly an athletic traits perspective, then, it is hard to argue that LSU's latest big play threat - Chark - deserves mentioning with the elite receivers of the 2018 NFL draft, though his relatively meager statistics provide little proof.
Just like Beckham and Landry (and most receivers across the college football landscape), Chark's most impressive season - statistically-speaking - was his last one. He was one of the best big play artists in the game in 2017, averaging an eye-popping 23.2 yards on a career-high 35 receptions, which was 38% more catches than any other LSU receiver (22) over the regular season. Not surprisingly, Chark led the Tigers in receiving yards (811) and tied with two other Tigers with three touchdown receptions while starting all 12 games. Chark also rushed 12 times for 63 yards and a score and earned Second Team All-SEC honors as a returner, averaging a conference-best 11.7 yards per punt return, scoring twice.
Chark showed similar big play chops as a junior while starting just six of 12 games, finishing second to current Buffalo Bills wideout Malachi Dupre (41 catches for 593 yards and three touchdowns) with a 26-466-3 line, averaging a healthy 17.9 yards per grab. He rushed 12 times in 2016, as well, averaging 10.2 yards per attempt and scoring two touchdowns but was not used as a returner.
Chark, a four-star recruit, only officially touched the ball once over his first two seasons at LSU. Perhaps not surprisingly, he scored a touchdown on that touch, taking an end-around 79 yards for a score against Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl to close out the 2015 season.
Chark's tantalizing combination of size and speed has captured the attention of scouts and he was invited to the Senior Bowl for them to get a closer look. He is understandably not as polished as many of the other receivers there but an impressive showing in Mobile and in workouts could have his stock vaulting as the draft approaches.
BACKGROUND A four-star prospect by ESPN.com and a member of the ESPN 300 ... Ranked as a three-star recruit according to 247Sports, Scout.com and Rivals.com ... Hauled in 48 receptions for 554 yards and three touchdowns as a senior on the way to earning Louisiana Class 5A All-State Honorable Mention ... Full name is Darrell Chark Jr. but goes by "D.J." Switched to jersey No. 7 for 2017 after wearing No. 82 the past two seasons.
STRENGTHS Offers a tantalizing combination of height and straight-line speed. Possesses an athletic, well-distributed build with long limbs and very strong hands. Rarely pressed at the line of scrimmage out of respect for his speed but shows a good hesitation move and strong, active hands to gain a quick release. Wasn't asked to run a full route tree in this offense but is surprisingly polished as a route-runner, exploding out of his cuts to create easy separation. Generally reliable hands with the ability to pluck outside of his frame as well as corral over his shoulder.
Long arms, flexibility and excellent hand strength to give quarterbacks a huge catch radius. Impressive hand-eye coordination, body control and awareness of the sideline, showing the ability to make late adjustments to deflected passes (see Mississippi State, 2016) and drag both feet to make catches in bounds. Good vision and agility once the ball is in his hands, setting up his blocks well and showing no hesitation to cut through congestion. Physical and competitive, fighting for extra yardage and aggressively pursuing defenders (and looking for others to hit) when blocking for teammates. Voted a team captain in 2017. - Rob Rang 12/21/2017
WEAKNESSES Does not always look natural catching the ball with too many "easy" drops on tape (see Mississippi State, 2016). Occasionally jumps needlessly as the ball approaches or fails to use proper hand technique, attempting to secure the ball more with his forearms (like a running back taking a handoff) than "creating the spade" with his thumbs and forefingers touching. Does not consistently show the same aggression when fighting for 50-50 balls that he does as a downfield blocker, failing to snare passes at their highest point and too often wilting to contact. Though often put in motion, was rarely asked to run routes over the middle and will likely take some time to adjust if asked to do this in the NFL. - Rob Rang 12/21/2017
COMPARES TO Torrey Smith, Philadelphia Eagles - Chark has a taller, leaner frame than the 6-1, 205 pound Smith but his value as a premier deep threat remains the same. Like Smith, Chark will enter the NFL needing development in some of the finer points of the position but his size, raw athleticism and experience against elite competition suggest that he could develop into a formidable weapon on the perimeter and return game.
IN OUR VIEW:In terms of the size-speed-strength factor that most scouts value over statistics, Chark is the most intriguing senior receiver in the 2018 NFL draft. As his meager career totals suggest, Chark lacks polish but he offers immediate big play potential as a perimeter receiver and punt returner with the athletic upside to develop into a longtime starter.
The best big play artists in the game in 2017, averaging an eye-popping 23.2 yards on a career-high 35 receptions, which was 38% more catches than any other LSU receiver (22) over the regular season. Not surprisingly, Chark led the Tigers in receiving yards (811) and tied with two other Tigers with three touchdown receptions while starting all 12 games. Chark also rushed 12 times for 63 yards and a score and earned Second Team All-SEC honors as a returner, averaging a conference-best 11.7 yards per punt return, scoring twice.
Played in 12 games with six starts ... Finished third on team in receptions (26), second in receiving yards (466) and tied for team-high honors in receiving touchdowns (3) ... Averaged 17.9 yards per reception ... Added another 122 rushing yards on 12 carries, an average of 10.2 yards a carry ... Scored two rushing TDs ... Caught three passes in seven games and had a pair of receptions in two other contests ... Scored a rushing and receiving touchdown in a win over Southern Miss ... Scored on a 19-yard run in the first quarter against Southern Miss and then added an 80-yard reception from Danny Etling in the third quarter ... First career receiving TD came on a 37-yard pass from Etling in first quarter of win over Mississippi State in what was his first career start ... Had three catches for 45 yards against Ole Miss, which included a 40-yard TD reception ... Added a 40-yard reception against Alabama ... Had one catch of at least 30 yards in seven of LSU's last eight games ... Of his 26 catches, eight covered at least 30 yards with four of those accounting for 40 or more yards ... Hauled in a 39-yard reception down to the 2-yard line in the Citrus Bowl that setup a Derrius Guice touchdown run.
Saw action in five games with no starts at wide receiver ... Took a handoff on an end around in the Texas Bowl against Texas Tech and carried it 79 yards for a touchdown … That play was his first career touch at LSU … Provided outstanding depth at receiver.
Played in six games with no starts at wide receiver ... Did not make a catch in limited action.
Attended Alexandria HIgh School, Alexandria, Louisiana A four-star prospect by ESPN.com and a member of the ESPN 300 ... Ranked as a three-star recruit according to 247Sports.com, Scout.com and Rivals.com ... Hauled in 48 receptions for 554 yards and three touchdowns as a senior on the way to earning Louisiana Class 5A All-State Honorable Mention ... Rushed for 495 yards and 5 touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 554 yards and six touchdowns as a junior ... Named Honorable Mention All-State for Class 5A as a junior ... A two-time letter winner for the Trojans ... Member of The Baton Rouge Advocate Second Dozen ... Coached by Brad Chesshir.
Full name is Darrell Chark Jr. but goes by “D.J.”... Parents are Shirley and Darrell Chark Sr. ... Born on Sept. 23, 1996 ... Majoring in sport administration.
Draft Scout Player News
01/27/18 - Top 15 Senior Bowl Performers: 9. DJ Chark, WR, LSU...With the erratic passing game at LSU, Chark couldn't consistently show off his athletic skill-set in college. However, that wasn't the case in Mobile, making several big catches up and down the field. He is clearly unrefined in some areas, but his speed and body control allow him to make easy adjustments on the football. Chark's draft arrow is pointing up. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/27/18 - WR DJ Chark explained that he felt LSU receivers were underrated and that their relatively meager production -- at least in comparison to receivers playing in more pass-friendly offenses -- was simply a function of the Tigers' run-heavy attack. Chark certainly backed up that claim in the Senior Bowl, leading all receivers with five catches for 160 yards -- more than he ever generated at LSU -- including a splashy 75-yard touchdown in which he twirled and high-stepped the final yards despite a defender in close proximity. Chark showed terrific burst and balance to shake free on the post-corner route that led to his touchdown, and possesses the combination of straight-line speed, size and versatility (he is also a terrific returner) to be in the conversation as the top senior receiver prospect in the 2018 draft.
01/24/18 - Senior Bowl Wednesday: Oklahoma State's James Washington has proven the most polished of the receivers in this year's Senior Bowl over the first two days of practice, showing body control and strong hands to make contested grabs look easy, and also running reliable routes. Teammate Marcel Ateman has also enjoyed a solid week, using his 6-4, 216-pound frame to box-out cornerbacks. In terms of physical upside, however, perhaps the most intriguing pass-catcher for the South Team is another former LSU Tiger -- DJ Chark. His blend of size (6-2 5/8 and 196 pounds), straight-line speed and strong hands stands out. Chark, a dynamic returner for the Tigers, made one of the more difficult catches of Wednesday's practices, bending his knees and extending his arms out in front of him to snare a punt just inches from the ground, securing it and accelerating in one fluid motion. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
12/13/17 - 2017 ALL-SEC SECOND TEAM (COACHES): RS DJ Chark, LSU,...Offensive lineman Garrett Brumfield, defensive backs Donte Jackson and Andraez "Greedy" Williams, running back Derrius Guice, and wide receiver DJ Chark earned spots on the second team. Chark was selected to the second team as a return specialist. The senior led the league in punt return average with 11.7 per game. Chark totaled two touchdowns on punt returns this season with the most thrilling coming on a 75-yard return against Auburn to spark the Tigers to the largest comeback against an SEC team in Tiger Stadium history. - LSU Football
11/11/17 - Senior quarterback Danny Etling threw touchdown passes of 45 and 68 yards to wide receiver D.J. Chark to power No. 24 LSU to a 33-10 victory over Arkansas Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
Running back Derrius Guice added 147 yards rushing yards and three second-half scores for the Tigers. Guice, who recorded his fourth 100-yard game of the season, scored on runs of 6, 33 and 1 yards. Chark entered the game leading the SEC with a 23.5-yard average on 25 catches, but he had not scored this season. On both of his touchdown receptions, Chark beat the Arkansas secondary by 5 yards and scored with ease. Etling finished 11-of-16 passing for 217 yards. Chark caught four passes for 130 yards. LSU (7-3, 4-2 SEC) scored touchdowns on its first three possessions of the second half to break open a 7-7 game to take a 26-10 lead. On the first two of those scores, Connor Culp hooked the PAT wide left. Guice got the first two scores, cutting back for a 6-yard touchdown and then hitting a big hole on the left side for a 33-yard score.
Arkansas (4-6, 1-5) scored on its first series of the second half with Connor Limpert's 38-yard field goal. But Etling connected with Chark on the 68-yard bomb eight seconds into the fourth quarter to ice the game. LSU controlled most of the first half defensively, not allowing Arkansas to run a play beyond midfield, until the final two minutes of the second quarter. Trailing 7-0, Arkansas had gained just 46 yards on its first five series, each of which ended with a punt. The Razorbacks were backed up again on their 14-yard line 5:25 before halftime, but quarterback Austin Allen engineered a 10-play, 86-yard drive that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Devwah Whaley 12 seconds before intermission. - The Sports Xchange