Marqise Lee is a popular name around these parts. The USC wide receiver was once hailed as the next big thing, then fell out of favor following a lackluster 2013 season. Selecting him in the first round is part belief and part risk, gambling that he'll return to form rather than flame out.
The Panthers have shown interest in Lee, indicated by multiple visits including a personal workout from Ricky Proehl. Which is to say it's a very real possibility. Now we have a new scouting report that depicts the wide receiver as talented, but mercurial -- from SB Nation.com's Stephen White.
If you haven't read the scouting reports from retired the retires NFL defensive end you're really missing out. Here's what stuck out the most to me in his write up.
There are times when a player wants to use their body to help with securing a catch, generally when in traffic or about to get blasted by a defender. Even then, I would like to see them catch the ball with their hands, then tuck it close to the body for safe keeping. There's just too much that can go wrong when a player relies so heavily on their body to help make catches, as Lee found out against Arizona State.
Body catching is a huge problem. It was an issue that took two years for Brandon LaFell to move away from, while Dwayne Jarrett never seemed to be able to attack the ball in the air. Any selection would necessitate Lee learning this and quickly, which is why his selection would mean having faith in Proehl.
It's not all bad, however. There's a lot to like, especially on tough routes that a lot of young receivers fail at.
The quick slants caught my eye because those are routes that demand good footwork, recognition of coverage and a lot of trust in your quarterback to not get you killed. I'll say this much for Lee, in addition to being polished at running routes, he also didn't show any fear in the games that I saw. He knew that he could be running into a brick wall at times and never broke stride. That's another reason he was able to get separation so consistently, because he was never hesitant after the ball was snapped.
The whole report is great and there are some fantastic accompanying images/ videos. It made me come away being both intrigued and terrified by Lee's ability, but given that I believe in the coaching staff these problems can be ironed out.