Is former USC wide receiver Marqise Lee overrated? According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, multiple NFL scouts are saying so, after the draft expert asked scouts who they thought was the most overrated draft prospect going into May’s 2014 NFL Draft.
Who is the most overrated player in the class? I polled five area scouts, and three listed USC wide receiver Marqise Lee as their answer. The other votes were for Timmy Jernigan and Teddy Bridgewater.
For anyone who watched Lee excelled for three seasons at USC, ‘overrated’ might be a hard word to hear.
Statistically, Marqise Lee could be both overvalued or called overrated depending on the season you look at him in. Under Lane Kiffin, Lee was quite possibly overused to the detriment of the Trojans’ offense. While he put up absurd numbers including a 393-yard performance at Arizona in 2012, USC wasn’t winning games or driving down the field efficiently.
In 2013, injuries vastly effected Lee’s production. The junior had half the catches he had as a sophomore and put up nearly a thousand fewer yards, while catching 10 fewer touchdowns. Based on the performance, hype and Heisman candidacy of 2012, the 2013 season would have given a casual fan ammo to call Lee overrated.
But to those that watched Lee’s healthy stretches of 2013, that’s a stretch. When at least partially healthy, he was still the Trojans’ most dangerous weapon, as seen in the dying moments against Stanford, when he hobbled his way to the big catch of a his career on 4th & 2.
He wasn’t quite as quick due to the nagging knee sprain suffered against Arizona State, and his stamina hindered him and forced the USC coaching staff to sit him down the stretch against California and Colorado.
At the NFL Combine, Lee put up marks of 4.50 and 4.44 in the 40-yard dash, the former number shocking even Pete Carroll who was on hand. Lee declined to run at USC’s Pro Day.
In three seasons at USC, Lee’s 3,655 career receiving yards stand as a USC record. With 248 career catches he finished just four shy of Robert Woods’ school record.
Lee would do well to follow in Woods’ shoes once more as he heads into the NFL. Afterall, Woods saw his stock drop dramatically after a disappointing junior season, but still emerged from a solid rookie season with 40 catches for 587 yards and three touchdowns for the Buffalo Bills.