ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. is a DJ Chark believer.
In the wake of Chark’s 5-catch, 150-yard performance against Auburn, the senior is quickly making his way up Kiper’s famous Big Board. Kiper lists Chark as his top prospect on the rise, saying that it is even conceivable that he could end up being the top senior wide receiver in next year’s draft.
That doesn’t necessarily equate to Chark being the first receiver taken — that’s contingent on what juniors declare — but Kiper sees him as a legitimate talent.
LSU has had poor quarterback play since Chark has been in school, but he’s a dynamic receiver/returner who could be better in the NFL than he has been in college… He’s a big-play threat, and I like the way he creates separation late in his routes. I’d like to see him consistently high-point the ball, so he’s not a perfect prospect. He also lost a fumble against Auburn. Chark could end up being the top senior receiver in this 2018 class. I have him as a Day 2 pick at this point, and he could move up if he tests well.
As Kiper noted, Chark is proving himself a dual-threat as a punt returner. His 75-yard punt return for a touchdown against Auburn was his second such score this season, and it brought Chark into one of the most elite clubs in LSU history. He joined Kevin Faulk as the only Tigers with rushing, receiving and return touchdowns of at least 75 yards in their careers.
“It’s a big honor,” Chark said of being associated with Faulk. “I’m not a big statistic guy so I don’t look into it too much. But just to know my name is somewhere near a great like that is a good feeling.”
Chark ranks second in the SEC in receiving yards per game as well as yards per catch. His 76.4 yards per game ranks behind Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown’s average of 113, while his 24.3 yards per catch trails only Missouri junior Emanuel Hall’s 28.8-yard average.