Marqise Lee NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Jaguars WR

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 03:  Marqise Lee #9 of the USC Trojans runs with ball during the game against the Oregon Ducks at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Marqise Lee, WR, USC (HT: 5'11¾", WT: 192 lbs)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Second Round: 39th Pick 

NFL Comparison: Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers

Combine Weigh In
HeightWeightArmsHands
5'11 3/4"19231 3/4"9 1/2"
NFL.com
Combine Workout
40-Yard Dash10-Yd SplitVerticalBroad Jump3-Cone DrillShuttle
4.521.5938.0"10'7"DNP4.01
NFL.com

 

Positives

  • Dangerous runner after the catch.
  • Has the speed to break off big chunks of yardage and also the agility to make defenders miss in the open field.
  • Usually does a nice job catching the ball away from his body and securing it quickly.
  • Has shown the ability to handle quick-strike passes and secures the ball without breaking stride.
  • Explodes off the line and gets up to full speed quickly, giving him potential as a deep threat once he refines his routes.
  • Impressive raw athleticism and leaping ability.
  • Has the tools to improve in his ability to fight for the ball in traffic, which will intrigue coaches who are willing to be patient and develop a prospect in this area.
  • Experienced returning kicks and some experience returning punts. 

 

 

Negatives

  • Not a very decisive runner after the catch.
  • Often hesitates after the catch and dances in front of a defender prior to making his first move.
  • Does a poor job adjusting to deeper throws.
  • On downfield targets, he tends to let the ball come to him, rather than being assertive and going up to pluck the ball from the air.
  • Very inconsistent use of his body to position himself between the ball and the defender on contested targets.
  • Gets ahead of himself sometimes and looks downfield before securing the catch, resulting in uncontested drops.
  • According to Greg Peshek, dropped 12.3 percent of his catchable targets.
  • Primarily used on screens, drag routes and short ins and outs.
  • Needs to polish his technique on deeper routes.
  • Relies too much on pure speed when trying to break free on deeper routes and needs to become more fluid in his breaks.
  • Struggles to fight off press coverage.
  • Some minor injury concerns due to his slight frame.
  • Suffered a minor knee injury during spring practices in 2013 and re-aggravated the injury last season, causing him to miss some time.

 

Collegiate Statistics
YearSchoolRecYardsYds/RecTD
2011USC73114315.711
2012USC118172114.614
2013USC5779113.94
espn.com

 

Personal Notes

  • Comes from a tough background.
  • Two older brothers were involved in gangs, one of whom was eventually murdered and the other currently in prison on murder charges.
  • An emotional player on the field who will openly express frustration with his quarterback. 

 

Ratings Chart

Chart created at nces.ed.gov

 

Overall

Lee is a talented prospect, but he benefited greatly from the USC hype machine. While Lee has the raw talent to be considered a potential first-round target, he is much more of a developmental prospect than some of the other elite receiver prospects in this class, such as Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans.

At USC, Lee won almost exclusively based on his raw speed and athleticism, but NFL defensive backs will feast on his tendency to hesitate after the catch and close quickly and efficiently to shut down plays that went for chunks of yardage in the Pac-12.

He is probably a better fit for a team with the depth to plug him in as a third or fourth option during his rookie year, rather than a team in need of immediate high-end production. 

 

Draft projection: 1st-2nd Round