Ole Miss wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge proved to be a playmaker on the outside in the N.W.O. for four years, and now he’s looking at a future in the NFL.
OXFORD, Miss. — At Cedar Hill High School (Texas), DaMarkus Lodge was an outstanding wide receiver who helped lead his high school to back-to-back Class 6A Division state titles in 2013 and 2014. He was also named the Offensive MVP of both games.
Ranked as a 5-star wide receiver by Scout, the highly-touted Lodge, who was high school teammates with former Ole Miss wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, held offers from the cream of the crop in college football, including Alabama, Cal, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Florida, to name a few, before ultimately declaring it a three-way race between Ole Miss, LSU and Clemson.
Lodge’s composite ranking saw him listed as the 57th-best player in the nation and the 6th-best wide receiver in the entire 2015 class. He was an Under Armour, USA Today and MaxPreps All-America selection in high school, and upon his arrival in Oxford he showed why he was so highly recruited.
In four seasons with the Rebels, Lodge proved to be a valuable target for Ole Miss quarterbacks. He appeared in 42 games with 24 starts — starting all 12 games his junior season and all 11 his senior season — while accumulating 122 receptions for 1,790 yards and 14 touchdowns.
In his final two seasons in Oxford, Lodge caught 106 passes for 1,575 yards and 11 touchdowns, living up to all the recruiting hype.
2019 NFL Combine Invitee
Third in the SEC in both receiving yards (79.7) and receptions per game (5.9) in 2018
Third in the SEC in total receptions at 65 in the 2018 season
Fifth in the SEC for total receiving yard at 877 yards in the 2018 season
Led the Rebels in yards per reception at 17.0 in the 2017 season
Second on the team in total receiving yards at 698 yards in the 2017 season
Tied for second most touchdowns (7) on the team in the 2017 season
Lodge has the frame for the prototypical outside wide receiver and possesses good physicality to shed cornerbacks. His quick feet and hands give him the advantage in beating the defensive back off the line of scrimmage. He uses his speed to his advantage and is able to create separation from defensive backs. Throughout his career, Lodge was able to break free on busted plays and make acrobatic catches along the sideline.
The Rebel offense liked to utilize Lodge’s skillset down the field and use his size to win 50-50 balls. He was able to elevate above defenders and snag balls that looked nearly impossible to pull down. Lodge’s shiftiness in the open field made it difficult for defenders to bring him down because he has good quickness in his hips.
Giving out moves for free, thank me later😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Dm2aQq6r3n
— THE Underdog (@DaMarkusLodge18) March 23, 2018
At the Combine
Here are DaMarkus Lodge’s official stats from the NFL Combine.
Weight: 202 lbs.
Arms: 33 1/8″
Hands: 9 1/2″
40-Yard Dash: 4.55
Bench Press: 11
Vertical Jump: 33.5″
Broad Jump: 119″
3 Cone Drill: 7.06
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.53
Here’s DaMarkus showing his excellent hand-eye coordination in the gauntlet drill at the Combine.
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) March 2, 2019
Most experts believed Lodge will be selected on the second or third day of the NFL Draft. Mike Detillier, author of “Mike Detillier’s Draft Report,” is widely recognized as one of the top NFL Draft analysts, and he likes what he sees from Lodge.
“Lodge has a tall, thin frame and a huge wingspan to reach out and make a grab,” Detillier writes. “He is a really good athlete who is agile and flexible to make a grab,” he adds.
“DaMarkus has good foot speed and quickness. He has a knack for making a grab and then quickly running up the field after the reception. Gets into and out his cuts and breaks quickly and he gets good separation downfield. Lodge has very good hand-eye coordination, and he adjusts well to difficult grabs.“
Mike Detillier on DaMarkus Lodge
NFL.com has Lodge listed with a prospect grade of 5.29. WalterFootball notes: “Lodge goes under the radar because of teammates A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf being top receiver prospects, but Lodge is a quality prospect in his own right. He totaled 65 receptions for 877 yards and four touchdowns in 2018. As a junior, Lodge totaled 41 receptions for 698 yards and seven touchdowns.
Where will Lodge Go in the Draft?
Experts have Lodge slated to go anywhere from the third round, on. The Draft Network loves Lodge’s potential and has him slated as a third-rounder. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein predicts Lodge as a sixth or seventh-rounder, while Walter Football has him projected as a fourth to sixth-rounder.
Detillier has Lodge rated with a score of 17.32, meaning he expects the Ole Miss receiver to go late in the third or fourth round.
“I have always liked what I have seen of him on the field and he plays with an air of confidence about him.”
Mike Detillier on Lodge
The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, and we look forward to seeing where DaMarkus Lodge is selected. It has been a pleasure to cover his collegiate career, and we wish him nothing but the best in his NFL future!