Can Marqise Lee Be the Top Receiver for the Jaguars?
Marqise Lee has struggled with injury since winning the Biletnikoff Award after his 2012 season. He couldn’t follow up in his final collegiate year in 2013 and he ended up falling to the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, where the Jacksonville Jaguars happily scooped him up.
Unfortunately for both him and the Jags, he hasn’t managed to put together play like his 2012 season again. Hobbled by injury again in his rookie season, Lee saw the field in 13 games, failing to put together a full season. When he was on the field, he didn’t impress for most of the season. There was a point from games six through 10 when he managed just five catches, becoming completely nonexistent during game nine against the Cincinnati Bengals.
There was promise toward the end of the season, however. In games 11 through 16, Lee started to show why he was a sought after wide receiver, averaging four catches per game and proving to be a much more explosive target. Game 12 against the New York Giants was an excellent game for Lee that saw him catch six of eight targets for 75 yards and a touchdown. That was the closest he came to 100 yards in one game all season.
In terms of talent, Lee can certainly be the top receiver for the Jags. Allen Robinson may have been more reliable in his rookie season and is certainly a formidable wide receiver to compete against, but Lee is arguably the more naturally talented of the two. Allen Hurns also presents stiff competition, able to break any catch for a big game. The most explosive receiver on the Jaguars’ offense last season, Hurns will have to keep his big plays coming if he wants to fend off Lee.
The problem for Marqise Lee and the Jaguars is that he struggling with injury again. A banged up knee is keeping him out of OTAs right now and he is missing out on valuable practice time that his fellow receivers are getting. Right now, it’s a holding pattern for the Jaguars and Lee. ESPN’s Michael DiRocco said, “Coach Gus Bradley said it’s probable that the Jaguars will hold Lee out of the upcoming three-day minicamp. I haven’t heard anything that would indicate that he won’t be cleared for training camp, but it depends on how his knee responds.” We hope that he’ll be back for training camp and there isn’t anything we need to worry about yet, but another injury that halts Lee’s development will make it tougher for him to come out as the best receiver on the team.
Overall, I like what the Jaguars have at wide receiver with Marqise Lee and Company. I think that he has the potential to lead the unit for the Jaguars, but unless the injuries stop rearing their ugly head, it will be tough for Lee to be the top guy.
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