Marqise Lee, WR, USC (HT: 5'11¾", WT: 192 lbs)
Second Round: 39th Pick
NFL Comparison: Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
+ Dangerous after the catch.
+ Combination of acceleration and speed gives him potential as a deep threat.
+ Experienced as a return specialist.
- Inconsistent hands.
- Has a passive approach to catching the ball.
- Limited route-running experience.
- Minor injuries concerns due to slight frame and recent knee injury.
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Lee comes from a tough background and has worked hard to get where he is today. While growing up he saw two of his older brothers involved in gangs. One of his brothers was eventually murdered due to his gang ties, and the other is currently in prison on murder charges.
On the field, Lee wears his emotions on his sleeve and will openly show frustration with his quarterback. This is highly unlikely to affect his draft stock, but it's something that his future coaching staff should be aware of before bringing him into the locker room.
Lee has average arm length and hand size, and he generally displays solid fundamentals in his approach to the catch. However, he struggles with a lack of focus, which leads to a high percentage of drops.
According to Rotoworld's Greg Peshek, Lee dropped 12.3 percent of his catchable targets in 2013, ranking among the worst receivers in this year's class.
While Lee's hands are inconsistent, he is capable of an acrobatic catch due to his impressive body control. He frequently demonstrated these skills at USC with receptions along the sideline in which he maintained focus and control while keeping his feet in bounds.
The issue with Lee's routes is simply a lack of experience. USC's offense has featured a heavy dose of screens and quick slants which has stunted Lee's growth as a receiver.
He has the combination of size and speed to be a well-rounded receiver and will likely be asked to develop this area of his game at the next level.
While he has potential to grow in this area, it's an obvious weakness right now and may lead to some early struggles as a rookie.
Lee is faster than he is quick and lacks the elite footwork to consistently break free from press coverage while avoiding contact.
When cornerbacks get into his chest, he lacks the upper-body strength to fend them off and often gets thrown off his route.
This is one of his more forgivable flaws, however, due to the fact that he saw very little press coverage at the college level. It may be a weakness NFL cornerbacks will exploit early, but he has the tools to adjust.
After the Catch
Lee has the pure speed to be a weapon and is certainly capable of taking the ball the distance on any reception.
He does have room to grow in this area, however, as his decisions aren't always the best ones. He tends to hesitate rather than make a decisive move in an effort to simply take what's given him by the defense. He got away with this technique frequently in college, but that moment of hesitation will lead to fewer explosive plays against NFL defense backs.
Adjusting to the Deep Ball
Lee's pure speed makes him a deep threat, but to truly be a weapon he needs to develop into the type of receiver who can adjust to the ball and make plays against tight coverage.
At USC, most of Lee's downfield plays came when he separated from coverage. However, he lacks the ability to position himself to make a play on the ball.
He needs to improve his ability to read the ball in the air and adjust before the cornerback has an opportunity to react.