The LSU Tigers have a strong duo of NFL Draft prospects in Ja’Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall. But what if I told you that the duo was a trio? LSU wide receiver Racey McMath doesn’t have the production or the name recognition that his NFL Draft counterparts have. Nevertheless, McMath is a player worth analyzing on the draft stage. Does he have the tools to outperform his projection?
Racey McMath NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: LSU
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’2 1/2″
- Weight: 217 pounds
- Wingspan: 79″
- Arm: 31 1/2″
- Hand: 9 1/4″
Tony Pauline’s Racey McMath Scouting Report
Positives: Nice-sized receiver who plays big-boy football. Comes back to the ball, uses his frame to shield away defenders, and adjusts to the errant throw. Uses his hands to separate from opponents, competes to come away with the difficult reception, and physically beats down defenders to make the catch. Smooth and fluid, makes the over-the-shoulder reception, and looks the ball into his hands.
Negatives: Lazily comes off the line if he’s not involved in the action. Displays a marginal burst on the field. Poor route runner who slows into breaks. Lacks soft hands and struggles coming away with the reception in contorted positions.
Analysis: McMath passes the eyeball test yet never took his game to the next level, even after moving into the starting lineup last season. He’s a physical specimen with potential as a possession receiver, yet McMath is a long way from being NFL-ready.
Racey McMath Player Profile
Racey McMath might not have produced a great deal at LSU, but he knew what he was doing. McMath had offers from lesser-heralded schools in high school, but the New Orleans product chose to further his development at a proven college football program.
A three-star prospect in the 2017 recruiting class, McMath attracted interest from many schools, with offers from Power Five programs like Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Arizona, and Kansas. He could’ve been a starter early at suitors like Kent State, Arkansas State, and Louisiana Tech. Nevertheless, McMath relished the challenge, and he enrolled at LSU in 2017.
Racey McMath’s career as an LSU wide receiver
Right away, McMath was faced with a grind at LSU. He managed to see the field as a true freshman, but only played in two games and didn’t make a tangible impact. Still, he wasn’t redshirted. The true sophomore came back in 2018, and with D.J. Clark and Russell Gage now gone, one might assume he’d earn a larger role. Instead, McMath was primarily a special teams player, who caught only two passes for 42 yards.
In 2019, the LSU offense erupted under the performance of Joe Burrow and offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson had incredible years, and Terrace Marshall Jr. had a productive season as a supplementary threat. McMath, however, remained a mere rotational player. He caught just 17 receptions for 285 yards and three scores.
McMath’s final college football season
Nevertheless, McMath played enough to flash his traits in 2019, and he also earned more praise on special teams. In 2020, hopes were high inside Baton Rouge that McMath would emerge as the next star LSU wide receiver alongside Marshall. McMath had his largest role yet, often lining up on the boundary. But five games into the season, McMath suffered a hamstring injury, which sidelined him for the rest of the year.
McMath caught 14 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown on the season, averaging around three catches and 40 yards per game. The LSU senior had a chance to return in 2021 due to an NCAA rules change. However, he instead chose to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. He also accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl, all but sealing his fate as a draft prospect.
Analyzing Racey McMath’s NFL Draft profile
The thing you’ll often hear with Racey McMath — and it’s true — is that he has the tools. McMath certainly does. He has good size, boasts a 4.34 40-yard dash, and accelerates with a lot of quickness, especially when tracking vertically. McMath also shows flashes of lateral suddenness and twitch. Those traits will be key for him at the next level if he wants to tap into his route running potential.
McMath’s evaluation is interesting because he never earned enough volume to show off his receiving skills consistently. And in his final season, with his largest role, an injury sidelined him for half the year.
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The LSU wide receiver shows flashes of important traits like body control, contested catch ability, and agility in run-after-catch situations. Those flashes will earn him a chance at the NFL level, not only due to his pedigree, but also due to his utility elsewhere.
It was alluded to earlier, but McMath has drawn rave reviews as a special teams player. With his vertical skill set, he offers great speed and density downfield, which serves him well as a gunner. It’s not the first thing you think of when evaluating receivers, but McMath is a very good special teamer who’s willing to contribute in any way possible. In the later rounds, that will separate him from other opponents.
What are the issues with McMath’s profile?
From an upside perspective, McMath is an intriguing player. He possesses a lot of the physical tools necessary to produce on the boundary. The problem with McMath stems from his production and polish. There isn’t enough of either quality in his profile. Even in LSU’s historic 2019 season, McMath had only 17 catches and 285 yards. For his career, he went for 522 total yards. McMath didn’t consistently have a presence in the Tigers’ offense. That holds weight.
Additionally, when McMath was on the field, he was observably raw. McMath doesn’t have consistent sharpness with his routes, and there isn’t much active deception or polish. He’s also not incredibly sudden on routes that break back toward the ball. McMath has enough from a physical standpoint to serve as a sparkplug. However, in the NFL, his lack of refinement may prevent him from ascending to a consistent offensive role.
Racey McMath’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Often buried on the LSU depth chart, Racey McMath waited a long time to get his opportunity. And when he did, injuries and inconsistent quarterback play prevented him from making the most of it.
McMath left a lot to be desired from a production standpoint, but watching the tape, one can’t deny that he has a degree of natural talent. He’s long and explosive, and he’s fairly fluid. Perhaps with more development, he could be a solid rotational receiver. And in the short run, he has the special teams chops to provide value.
How can McMath be selected in the NFL Draft?
There aren’t specific team fits for a receiver like McMath. The LSU wide receiver is a player who can provide depth and special teams ability, and that’s something that most NFL teams should desire in the later rounds. Even though he failed to stand out at the Senior Bowl in January, McMath did well enough at his pro day, quantifying his athletic potential. Thus, with a late-round flyer, he brings a balance of special teams utility and upside that some teams might find appealing.
McMath’s lack of production and consistency puts a definite cap on his draft potential. However, his offseason opportunities gave him a chance to boost his stock. If nothing else, McMath is a naturally talented football player who can contribute in multiple phases. In the later rounds, that multi-departmental versatility might give him an edge.
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