Jacksonville Jaguars select Marqise Lee No. 39 overall in the 2014 NFL draft
One round after adding what they hope will be their QB of the future, the Jacksonville Jaguars may have found Blake Bortles his No. 1 receiver. Jacksonville stopped USC WR Marqise Lee's draft slide, taking him with the 39th overall pick.
Lee dominated for the Trojans during the 2012 season, only to see his production drop off last season -- a knee injury contributed both to those struggles and, likely, to Lee's status sliding in the eyes of NFL general managers. When healthy, he is capable of helping to carry an offense. And now, he's extra motivated for the Jaguars.
"I'm always going to have a chip on my shoulder," Lee told the NFL Network. "I've still got to prove to everybody that it's not just college I did it, I can do it in the NFL, too."
Strengths: Does not need much space to turn short gains into big plays. Uses his speed (4.52 40) to burst by defenders, plus challenges defenses vertically. Uses all of his 6-0 frame to go up and make catches, with the strong hands needed to do so in traffic. Smart, before and after the catch, knowing where his openings are. Produces big-play touchdowns. Dangerous, too, in the red zone because of how he positions himself versus defensive backs. Dangerous return man — averaged 26.1 yards per attempt on kickoffs during his career, scoring twice. Willing blocker, despite his size limitations.
Weaknesses: Injuries last season may make teams wary, given Lee’s lanky frame. Should be better when pressured on catches; will let defenders beat him to the ball at times. Dropped 12 percent of the passes thrown his way last season. Will get jammed at the line, though his top-end speed deep may force CBs to play off him. Lacks true No. 1 size, which could limit his value in the draft.
Finally, Lee comes off the board. Some worries about his health (knee) may have been the driving force in his fall out of Round 1, but let's not forget that he was once considered a top-10 prospect in this draft. Whether it's Chad Henne or Blake Bortles tossing him passes early in 2014, Lee matched with Cecil Shorts should help the Jaguars forget about Justin Blackmon.
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