Scouting The Draft: Marqise Lee, Wide Receiver, USC

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

We still have a couple of games left in the 2013 season, but with no play-offs it's time to start looking beyond this year. So we turn our attention to a highly touted receiver out of California.

Introduction

Marqise Lee will be in action later today for USC as they take on Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. Lee has experienced a frustrating season with inconsistent play and injury concerns leading to a year where he numbers have taken a serious nosedive on past performances. Heavily recruited as a 4* receiver coming out of high school, Lee had several scholarship offers from across the country, including offers from the likes of Florida, Miami, Michigan and Stanford. However he decided to sign on with the Trojans and that proved a great decision.

Marqise Lee needs 12 receptions today against Fresno State to become USC's all time leader in terms of receptions, but with recent problems and the emergence of other talent on the USC roster. I wouldn't want to guarantee he would get it.

Let us just say that Lee is quite the athlete, he played some safety in high school as well as being a sprinter, long jumper and basketball player and continued some of these pursuits at USC. He burst onto the scene with USC immediately becoming a starter as a freshman and never really looking back. He had two phenomenal years at USC before taking a little decline this year. He hasn't confirmed if he will go pro yet, but most expect him to, even with his pedestrian 2013 numbers, most consider him a first round lock.

Measurables

Height: 6'0

Weight: 195lb's

Class: Junior

Projected 40: 4.4 - 4.5

Statistics

Year Receptions Yards Averages Long Touchdowns
2013 50 673 13.5 80 2
2012 118 1721 14.6 83 14
2011 73 1143 15.7 59 11

Positives

Lane Kiffin once said that Marqise Lee was the greatest ever Trojan receiver, and personally I have to agree with him. An excellent route runner who can do the whole tree, very fluid in and out of breaks, doesn't lose any speed when cutting which makes him very difficult to cover. Has good straight line speed that helps gain separation, has natural hands and catches nearly everything thrown within catching distance. Tracks the ball when it's in the air well, and has excellent body control to enable to adjust to balls that are off the mark. Has very good leaping ability and play recognition. Has excellent acceleration and is dangerous with the ball in his hands, very elusive in the open field. Has a second gear to run away from defenders, always gives excellent effort on the field. No character concerns despite difficult upbringing.

Negatives

All the negatives with Lee will come down to his size. He has a very lean frame and stands around the 6'0 marker. Does struggle to get off press coverage some times and will sometimes get out muscled in jump ball situations. Although he will give plenty of effort in run blocking, his lean frame and lack of ideal strength make it quite difficult at the college level, so I would expect further problems at the NFL level. Carries the ball loosely, needs to tuck it away when running with it.

Conclusion

Forgive me but I look at him and I see a little Santonio Holmes in there, Holmes as he was not as he is. He has great body control and I love those reliable hands. Has the ability to turn any play into a TD and would love to use him all over the field, in the slot, out wide and he can even carry the ball. I really like Lee, he's had a tough year but I have a good feeling about his pro potential.

Would I Select Him For The Jets?

I really like Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins, and would probably take both of them over Lee, but if they are gone....I would have no problems selecting Lee, and if the team thought more of Lee than Evans and Watkins, I wouldn't hate us selecting him. Plays passionately, has home run potential and is reliable as they come. He'll go in the first and if he's a Jet next year, you won't hear any complaints from me.

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