Jags nab Marqise Lee in 2nd round
Marqise Lee Fills A Void In Jacksonville
Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell was first enamored with Marqise Lee during the receiver's freshman season at USC, but he knew he'd have to wait a while before he'd have a chance to draft him.
The wait on Friday night was a little more nerve-wracking.
Caldwell failed in his bid to trade up to the top pick in the second round (33rd overall) so he had to wait out the Jaguars' turn at 39 before they could grab Lee to help improve one of the league's worst offenses.
"We're excited," Caldwell said. "Obviously we had him highly rated. I think the whole country did. But for whatever reason this is a deep draft and sometimes players fall.
"This is a good draft with good players. Somebody's got to fall, right? And it just so happened that it (wide receiver) was a need for us."
It certainly was, considering the uncertain status of wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who is serving an indefinite suspension for his third violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Caldwell said last week that the team wasn't planning on Blackmon playing in 2014, which left the offense without a No. 1 receiver.
Lee can certainly fill that role. He caught 248 passes for 3,655 yards and 29 touchdowns in three seasons with the Trojans. He caught 57 passes for 791 yards and four scores last year despite playing through a knee injury and quarterback issues. That followed a monster sophomore season in which he caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns.
"He's explosive," Caldwell said. "He can make defenders miss. He's very instinctive. He's got a feel for zones. He can separate in and out of breaks very well. When he gets the ball in his hands he's a threat to take it to the house.
"He's a playmaker and we need playmakers."
The Jaguars ranked 22nd in passing and 31st in total offense in the NFL in 2013. The hope is that the addition of Lee and quarterback Blake Bortles, the No. 3 overall pick Thursday, will improve those numbers significantly for years.
Jaguars WR Marqise Lee comments on being picked by Jacksonville, route running, whether falling to the second round surprised him, the best part of his selection and more.
The 6-foot, 192-pound Lee, who said his drop into the second round will serve as motivation, is ready to do his part.
"I think my competitive nature [will help him thrive in the NFL]," he said. "I think I'm capable of getting it done."
The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Matthews helps fill the void left by the release of three-time Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson. Matthews is the SEC's all-time leader in career receptions (262) and yards receiving (3,759).
Seattle was originally scheduled to pick at No. 40 before making a second draft trade, this time with Detroit. By moving back five spots, the Seahawks were still able to get a speedy receiver to add to their roster and help make up for the loss of Golden Tate in free agency.
Richardson missed the 2012 season with a knee injury. His rebound in 2013 was outstanding. Despite playing with a young quarterback, Richardson had a standout senior season with 83 catches for 1,343 yards and 10 touchdown catches. Three times he had at least 10 catches in a game, even as the Buffaloes were struggling through a 4-8 season.
Adams had 131 catches for 1,718 yards and 24 touchdowns last year in Fresno State's high-octane offense run by quarterback Derek Carr, himself selected in the second round by the Raiders.
Latimer had 72 catches for 1,096 yards and nine TDs for the Hoosiers last season. He finished his career with 135 receptions for 2,042 yards.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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