This is the first of eight player profiles analyzing who the Ravens may select with their 17th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft. This series is meant to be devoid of mainstream media influence and present to you the player I think fits best on the Ravens when compared to which players will be available when they make their selection.
All of the eight players we’ll look at over the next four weeks are dynamic. They don’t just get by. They are among the best at their respective positions.
This series is also assuming the Ravens don’t trade out of their No. 17 overall pick on May 8, which could obviously happen. Anything could happen.
This is meant to be fun and somewhat accurate, so here we go.
Marqise Lee, Wide Receiver, University of Southern California
- Height: 6’0″
- Weight: 192 pounds
- 40-yard dash: 4.52 seconds
- Vertical jump: 38.0″
Best collegiate season (2012): 118 receptions, 1,721 yards (14.6 yard average), 14 touchdowns; 13 rushes, 106 yards (8.2 yard average)
Pros: Marqise Lee is pro-ready. I thought he could’ve made a serious run at the Heisman trophy in 2013, but although last year was not what he wanted it to be, Lee still showed off what has made him so good. He’s very good at understanding route concepts, stemming, and making in-throw adjustments. Lee has shown tremendous body control in the red area and along the sideline time and time again. It looks like he intends to score on every play.
Cons: In 2013, injuries cost him a chance to duplicate his stellar 2012 performance. He plays a lot on the outside, and although he’s performed well in that role, there will likely come a time where he’s called to run across the middle of a defense. Lee also doesn’t get as many yards after contact as you’d like. Can he withstand the punishment AFC North defenses will dole out?
Why the Ravens would select him: He’s soft spoken but is motivated and has proven his ability to persevere, just like many Ravens players. If he were picked by Baltimore he wouldn’t have to be the No. 1 wide receiver right away, he wouldn’t be asked to go across the middle that often, and he’d enjoy stability at quarterback and head coach (unlike his junior season at USC). In addition he’d help alleviate pressure on Jacoby Jones by returning kickoffs.
Projected position with the Ravens: “Z” receiver (or flanker), opposite Torrey Smith and either Steve Smith or Marlon Brown.