In today’s scouting notebook, we’ll be taking a look at USC wide receiver Marqise Lee, a player that I had ranked as a top 10 player before the season.
Lee didn’t have a stellar junior season with the departure of Matt Barkley but still is a top rated prospect in my opinion, but has been falling in mock drafts of late and getting pushed aside in a deep crop of wide receivers.
I could see lee going as high as the top 15 or 16 picks, and some see him falling into the second round. I feel like if Lee is still on the board when the Broncos are picking in the first round, this is a no-brainer selection unless they get a top 12-15 rated defender on the board at that point as well.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at this explosive WR prospect:
Wt: 192 pounds
Vertical: 38 inches
- Solid build
- Top level athlete
- Speed/quickness is among best at position
- Ability as a return specialist
- Can play inside or outside
- Elite playmaking ability
- Threat to score anytime he touches the ball
- Route running ability is top notch
- Fluid athlete with great change of direction skills
- Reliable hands receiver
- Plays big
- Elusive after the catch
- Play dropped off in 2013 (Matt Barkley departure considered)
- Injuries popped up in 2013 as well
- Somewhat light frame
- Reliant on athletic ability more often than desired
This player would be an absolute steal for the Broncos at the bottom of round one. If you are looking at the BPA strategy, this would have to be considered among the top options, getting a receiver who is as explosive, athletic, and productive as Lee.
Once considered a top 10 prospect and future Heisman candidate, the mandated three years in school actually ended up hurting Lee. The loss of Matt Barkley at QB proved far more detrimental than expected, as did the departure of wide receiver Robert Woods, who was picked in the second round by the Buffalo Bills last year.
Even though Lee’s production took a huge dip (less than half the number of catches in 2013 as he did in 2012) I still view him as a prospect with elite potential. When comparing him to former and current NFL players, the names Marvin Harrison and Victor Cruz have been thrown out there.
I have been banging the table for a WR for the Broncos, one specifically with size, but I would make an exception for Lee, who is so explosive and such a dynamic playmaker.
I feel like there’s a better than solid chance of Denver picking a WR at the bottom of round one, and if a player like this is available that could contribute year one as a kick/punt returner as well (Lee is one of the best in this draft) then I think John Elway would be a fool to pass on him.
Marqise Lee vs. Oregon State (2013 via Draft Breakdown)
Marqise Lee vs. Syracuse, Arizona, UCLA, Notre Dame (2012 via Draft Breakdown)