Dynasty Prospect Profile: D.J. Chark
D.J. Chark, WR, LSU
(percentile rank among all WRs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.34 seconds (95th)
Vertical: 40” (92nd)
Broad: 129” (91st)
20-yard shuttle: N/A
Chark was a 4-star recruit out of high school but didn’t record a single reception across his first 2 seasons in Baton Rouge. His only touch during that time was a 79-yard TD on an end-around against Texas Tech in the 2015 Texas Bowl.
Chark finally got involved as a junior, posting a 26-466-3 line. He averaged a big 17.9 yards per catch, recording 8 grabs of 30+ yards and 4 of 40+
Chark improved his numbers across the board this past season, pacing LSU in all major receiving categories. His 21.9 yards per catch led the entire country among players with 40+ receptions. He made another 6 catches of 40+ yards.
While his raw numbers don’t jump off the page, consider that LSU ranked 106th and 82nd in passing yards and 110th and 85th in passing TDs over the past 2 seasons. Chark accounted for 18.7% of the team’s receptions, 27.2% of the receiving yards and 20.7% of the receiving scores during that time. His 2017 market-share numbers: 22.3% of the catches, 33.0% of the yards and 17.6% of the TDs.
And Chark was efficient, posting 2.92 yards per route run this past year — 12th among draft-eligible receivers, per Pro Football Focus. His 12.85 yards per target towered above the 7.63 mark posted by the rest of LSU’s pass-catchers. That 68.4% difference was 2nd best among 25 of this year’s top WR prospects.
Chark also contributed on the ground, tallying 185 yards and 3 scores on 24 carries over the past 2 seasons. And he served as LSU’s punt returner last year, averaging 10.6 yards and scoring twice on 18 attempts.
He closed his college career with a bang, earning co-MVP honors at the Senior Bowl with a 5-160-1 line. That included a 63-yard reception and a 75-yard TD.
Games watched - Mississippi State (2016), Mississippi (2016), BYU, Auburn, Notre Dame
Chark has a sprinter’s body: long and lean. And he runs with big strides, effortlessly gliding by defenders. He plays like a guy with 4.3 speed.
Chark also shows the ability to adjust to passes that aren’t thrown on the money.
The vast majority of Chark’s production in the 5 games I watched came on deep balls. The rest came via the threat of his long speed — a good number of comebacks and a few out routes.
While Chark’s speed will play at the next level, he has a lot of work to do in the route-running department.
Inconsistent hands are another concern. I saw him make a few impressive grabs, including these 2:
But he far too often lets the ball get into his body, resulting in ugly drops like this:
Chark is much more athlete than WR at this point.
He was a Combine winner, not only running a 4.34-second 40-yard dash but also posting vertical and broad jumps above the 90th percentile at his position.
He’s a good bet to contribute in the deep-passing and return games for his NFL club. But that alone won’t be enough to make him more than a volatile, low-floor fantasy option.
Chark will need to improve his hands and develop as a route runner in order to reach his ceiling. And even that only extends as high as the Robby Anderson-DeSean Jackson spectrum — a boom-or-bust WR3 type.