LSU Football: Tigers have their longterm replacement for Justin Jefferson

LSU football wide receiver Justin Jefferson (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
LSU football wide receiver Justin Jefferson (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

LSU football has to replace an extremely productive wide receiver in Justin Jefferson.

LSU football‘s Justin Jefferson was one of the most productive players in college football in 2019.

Jefferson, who was selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings (No. 22 overall), caught 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns last season for the Tigers.

The 111 receptions were the most among FBS wide receivers.

While LSU still has some incredible talent at wide receiver (Ja’Marr Chase is the best wide receiver in the nation), that’s still a lot of lost production.

Fortunately for the Tigers, they have a true freshman who can step into Jefferson’s role for the next several years.

The true freshman that could take over Jefferson’s role for LSU football

Terrace Marshall will be the primary replacement for Jefferson in 2020.

But what about beyond 2020?

Marshall will only be a junior this upcoming season, but it’s hard to see him staying at LSU past 2020. After what Marshall showed last season playing behind Jefferson and Chase, he will almost certainly be heading to the NFL in 2021.

That means LSU needs a “longterm” replacement for Jefferson (longterm in college football is 2-3 years). And I think that player will be Koy Moore, a four-star wide receiver from Metairie, LA who signed with LSU during the 2020 recruiting cycle.

Why Moore makes sense as a replacement for Jefferson

Jefferson saw most of his action in 2019 in the slot.

According to Pro Football Focus, Jefferson ran 575 of his 583 routes from the slot last season.

LSU’s offense will feature some new wrinkles in 2020 with the addition of new passing game coordinator Scott Linehan, but the base of the offense will remain the same. In other words, the Tigers will still be hoping for a lot of production from their slot wide receiver.

Moore’s recruiting analysis (via 247Sports midland region recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks) suggests he’ll be a perfect fit in the slot for LSU.

From 247Sports:

"Build and playing style suggest he could line up outside or in the slot at the next level. Slot could be ideal role. Shows encouraging natural receiver acumen and awareness. Good high-pointer who wins balls in traffic. Knows how to find open space vs. zones."

The last part of that description (finding open space against zone defense) is exactly what Jefferson was so good at doing. Jefferson found himself so wide open at times that draft scouts actually questioned his ability to separate from defenders, simply because he didn’t have to do it very often at LSU.

Moore is an ideal replacement for Jefferson. I don’t know how much we’ll see him featured in the Tigers’ offense in 2020, due to the presence of Marshall, but I think it’s clear that he’s going to be a huge part of LSU’s offense during his time in Baton Rouge.

Next. LSU's latest addition has a clear mission in mind. dark

Just another example of the Tigers being loaded with talent. That’s what happens when you have an ace recruiter like Ed Orgeron for a head coach.