Bucky Brooks 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Jets Select Marqise Lee at No. 18


Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2014 NFL Draft being the first to take place in May, it’s felt like an eternity waiting for it to arrive, but now that the big day is less than a week away, experts are rushing to get out their latest mock drafts to keep fans as informed as possible. In his most recent mock draft on Thursday, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com pegged Marqise Lee in at the No. 18 spot, to the New York Jets.

Lee is a guy who would have benefited by being able to declare after his sophomore season at USC, seeing as how his draft stock was hurt by an underachieving junior year, but still projected as one of the top playmakers in the draft. Here’s what Ross Tucker of Sporting News had to say:

"Are we really to believe that Lee would have been drafted after Clemson’s Sammy Watkins if both entered the draft a year ago? Lee was by far the best wide receiver in college football, had more than 1,700 yards receiving, and won the Biletnikoff Award that stamped him as the best at his position while Watkins started the season suspended and it only went downhill from there as he suffered through a subpar season."

In his breakout sophomore season, Lee was also named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year as he lead the conference in receiving yards,  receiving touchdowns, and kickoff return yards while leading the nation in receptions with 118. However, his junior season was not up to par as Todd McShay made note of:

"He did not have a good year last year. He had the worst drop percentage of all the top receivers. The previous two years were outstanding."

However, the Jets need to look past his injury-riddled junior season and at the potential he showed during his first two collegiate years. Rex Ryan has done a solid job keeping this defense together after the loss of Darrelle Revis last offseason and it’s been the other side of the ball holding them back.

Geno Smith came in and took the quarterback job from Mark Sanchez, doing a decent job for the most part but the obvious problem was the lack of a playmaker for the Jets. Marqise Lee certainly has the ability to do just that as he can spread the field with his great speed, which sometimes looks like he’s shifting into another gear to pull away, and give Geno and Michael Vick room to run. His quickness also makes him a huge threat for yards after the catch as he has the agility to cut through tiny windows and make guys miss.

With that being said, Lee also has some things to work on like his ball carrying techniques, which has been mentioned as a weakness of his. He is also just an average sized receiver which, with his previous injury history, could create a problem in his durability if he doesn’t get a bit stronger.

I think Marqise Lee fits the mold of players that Rex Ryan looks for and he is already confident in himself that he can go in and help a team out right away, telling USA Today:

"“I feel like I am the caliber to be that No.1 receiver. That’s my goal: to come in immediately and get it going.”"

Whether it be Marqise Lee or someone else, I think the Jets certainly need to take the best available WR and even in this deep class, at No. 18, Lee might be the best one left. How do you guys feel about this pick? Should the Jets go for Lee or someone else?