Jacksonville Jaguars

How Marqise Lee Fits with the Jacksonville Jaguars

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee poses for photos after being selected as the 39th pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Friday, May 9, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Jason DeCrow/Associated Press
Giancarlo Ferrari-KingFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2014

Most people expected the Jacksonville Jaguars to go after a wide receiver in Round 2 of the 2014 NFL draft.

With Blake Bortles now in place as the team's franchise quarterback, the best way to give him a chance to succeed is by surrounding him with a flock of talent.

That plan was set in motion when they drafted USC wide receiver Marqise Lee.

It comes as somewhat of a surprise that Lee even fell to the Jaguars at pick No. 39. Leading up to the draft, most experts, including NFL.com's Mike Mayock, actually had him pegged to be selected at some point during the first round.

Bleacher Report's own Will Carroll tweeted one reason why he believes NFL teams may have let the USC wide receiver get out of Round 1:

Another draftee that fell significantly is Marqise Lee. Several teams scared of his knee. Source I spoke with said "half the league is out."

— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) May 9, 2014

Those medical concerns clearly didn't bother general manager David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley, as they went out and snagged him early on in the second round.

Lee spent his collegiate career attending the University of Southern California, school known for churning out NFL-caliber wide receivers.

Evaluating the body of work he put forth on film shows you that this guy has a diverse skill set.

Though he's only listed at 6'0", he's able to use his impressive route-running acumen and sensational burst off the line of scrimmage to tear apart opposing defenses.

Lee isn't a jump-ball wide receiver. Though he did post a 38" vertical leap at the combine, his role in Jacksonville will be focused around his ability to run a complete route tree.

Bortles needs a guy whom he can rely on down the field, over the middle and at the line of scrimmage. Lee will fit that role beautifully.

He's dynamite after the catch, which is great for this offense. He not only gives the Jaguars a home run hitter but also takes the pressure off of Bortles to push the ball vertically.

There's good reason to believe that Lee may turn out to be one of the best and most reliable wide receivers this team has had in a long time.

The two biggest areas of concern you have with the 22-year-old pass-catcher are that he struggled last season compared to his freshman and sophomore campaigns and that he has a tendency to drop catchable balls.

Trying to explain the dip in production, Lee told Brian Costello of the New York Post that it was the injury to his knee that disrupted his entire 2013 season.

Obviously, he's going to have to address both of those question marks. However, the fact is, Lee has too much good tape to be ignored.

With the distinct possibility that Justin Blackmon will not play in 2014, according to a recent quote from Caldwell (via Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union), he's a perfect remedy for this franchise moving forward.

 

All NFL combine information via NFL.com unless noted otherwise.

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