When the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Marqise Lee in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, there were high hopes set in place for success. The Jags had selected Blake Bortles in the first round in an attempt to create a one-two punch for the offense.
Three years later, Lee is only starting to live up to the expectations following a stout college football career. Lee won the Biletnikoff Award for being the best wideout in college football after a 2012 season at USC in which Lee produced 118 catches for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. In 2013, Lee’s numbers were down but teams were still quite interested in what he could bring to the NFL.
Entering the final season of his contract in 2017, Lee is expected to be in the WR3 spot behind both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. The trio of receivers combined for 2,200 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2016 bit the talent does not stop there.
Jacksonville brought in former Bucs wide receiver and two-time Super Bowl Champion Keenan McCardell as wide receivers coach this offseason. Bringing in his knowledge and expertise should help these young receivers progress even further.
Former Bucs second round pick in 2010 Arrelious Benn earned a roster spot last year and could continue to build off of the minor success he had. Rashad Greene, a third-year receiver who was part of Florida State’s 2013 National Championship team, is also part of the young talented wide receivers corp in Jacksonville.
But, the biggest challenge to Lee’s career could possibly be the Jags’ fourth round pick in this year’s draft, Dede Westbrook. The speedster from Oklahoma is expected to be a part of this rotation of receivers that looks to bring a spark to this offense. He is expected to compete for the starting role in the slot, immediately.
Lee can also return kickoffs and punts, but his usage in that area will also be dependent on how well he produces from the wideout spot. With Lee entering into the final season of his rookie contract, he will need to be productive if he wants to stay a core part of this Jaguars offense.