Among the many surprises at the 2014 NFL draft on Thursday was Marqise Lee dropping right out of the first round. He didn't last very long in the second round, however, as the Jacksonville Jaguars finally ended his slide with the No. 39 pick.
Bleacher Report NFL shared the news:
While Lee had a bit of a disappointing season in 2013, finishing with 57 receptions for 791 yards and four touchdowns, injuries and plenty of upheaval at USC seemed to be the main reason for his decreased production, especially since he accumulated 191 receptions for 2,864 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first two years.
According to injury expert Will Carroll of Bleacher Report, however, it was that injury that precipitated his fall:
Clearly, though, the Jags weren't terribly concerned. And with Justin Blackmon suspended indefinitely, wide receiver was clearly a huge need for Jacksonville. Add it all up, and Lee likely will see the field plenty in 2014, as Adam Caplan of ESPN tweets:
Pete Prisco of CBS certainly applauded the move:
Michael Tanier of Sports on Earth likes the trio of receivers the Jags have to work with now:
Of course, how much better would they be if Blackmon was around for a full season?
Meanwhile, Will Brinson of CBS thinks Lee could be the Offensive Rookie of the Year:
The Jaguars needed a downfield threat. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Lee might just provide one:
The Jags certainly weren't the only team interested in Lee when he dropped into the second round. Far from it, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted:
And heck, a year ago it would have been hard to imagine him being available on Day 2 at all, as Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated noted:
While many folks would imagine Blake Bortles was quite excited with this selection—and perhaps excited about the new young duo in the passing game—not every analyst was thrilled with the pick. Brad Evans of Yahoo! Sports was one of the cynics of the new pair:
And Cian Fahey of Bleacher Report noted there were differing opinions on Lee, depending on whom you asked:
Still, this feels like a great move for the Jags. Lee is one of the more NFL-ready receivers in this draft class and should instantly upgrade the passing game. His lack of production in his junior season can be largely attributed to poor quarterback play as much as anything else.
Turn on his sophomore tape, and this is a kid with top talent. The Jaguars will be hoping that player shows up and produces for them for the next decade.