Eagles Should Just Say No To Marqise Lee | Eagles Addict
Marqise Lee

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Everywhere you turn of late, you’ll see the Eagles and Marqise Lee being linked together like peanut butter and jelly.  Whether it’s a mock draft, article or tweet by various draftniks or writers who cover the Eagles, we’ve gone from March Madness to Marqise Madness.

I’m here to tell you that I’m not on the bandwagon.  Just like kids to drugs, the Eagles should just say no.

I’m not saying Lee will be a bust, I’m just saying that I’d much rather select someone else if the Eagles do draft a Wide Receiver in Round 1.

Why?  Mainly because I feel we already have a very similar receiver on the roster in Jeremy Maclin.  Having a second Maclin on this team wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I’ve always been someone that favors bigger, stronger receivers.

When Chip Kelly made his “big people beat up little people” statement, it was like a breath of fresh air.  The Eagles have long been mostly a smaller, faster team during the Andy Reid era and I’m ready for a transition to big and physical.

I’ve suffered long enough with having a main receiving corps consisting of players 6′ or shorter (Jackson, Maclin, Avant).  I’m tired of admiring other teams’ receivers like Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Demaryius Thomas, Josh Gordon, A.J. Green, Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon Marshall, Dez Bryant, Vincent Jackson, Jordy Nelson, etc, etc.

What do all those guys have in common?  They’re big and physical…and they can dominate.

Who was the last Eagles receiver that defenses had to game plan for but still couldn’t take out of the game?  And don’t say DeSean Jackson, he was routinely taken out of games.

Your answer should be Terrell Owens.

Was he small and fast?  No.  He was big and physical.

Anyway, for comparison purposes between Maclin and Lee, I looked at a scouting report on Maclin when he came out and compared it to one for Lee.  Both reports were done by NFLDraftScout:

Maclin

Positives: Tight-skinned athlete. Good overall musculature. Explosive straight-line speed and quickness out of his breaks. Agile. Can make defenders miss in tight quarters. Natural playmaker who is a threat to score – from any distance – on every snap. Versatile athlete who can make plays in the running, receiving or return games. Natural pass catcher. Good body control to contort in space and make the spectacular reception. High-points passes and is an explosive leaper. High effort player. Courageous over the middle. Blocks downfield. Showed mental toughness in returning after a horrific knee injury in 2006.

Negatives: Still developing as a route-runner. Relies on his athletic ability at this point, and doesn’t explode out of his cuts as well as he could. Will takes his eyes off the ball, on occasion, to prepare to make the defender miss, and drop the ball. Production inflated due to his role and the presence of other playmakers in this offense.

Lee

STRENGTHS: Explosive straight-line speed that makes pressing him risky for even talented cornerbacks. Remarkably fluid athlete, capable of changing directions quickly and shows developing savvy as a route-runner, often using a hesitation move and shoulder-dip to get defenders off-balance.

His vision, elusiveness and acceleration make him a terror after the catch, whether as a receiver or returner. Plucks the ball easily and can track over either shoulder. Plays bigger than his size, showing the ability to go up and high-point passes amidst tight coverage and is an attentive, physical downfield blocker.

WEAKNESSES: Possesses a relatively slight frame and struggled with injuries in 2013, raising legitimate questions about his ability to remain healthy against NFL competition. Relies on his natural athleticism to work himself free, at times, rather than exploding out of his routes at the proper depths, showing a willingness to freelance that has led to interceptions for the Trojans.

Pretty similar, right?  That could be because of the same person doing the report, but it could also be because they are just similar players.

Maclin is 6′, 198 lbs, was a dangerous receiver and return man, ran a 4.48 40, and had 102 receptions for 1,260 yards with 13 TDs and 2 return TDs in his last college season before entering the draft.

Lee is 6′, 192 lbs, was a dangerous receiver and return man, ran a 4.52 40, and had 118 receptions for 1,721 yards with 14 TDs and 1 return TD in 2012 (I disregarded his down 2013 season).

Lee had a down year in 2013 compared to 2012 and many point to nagging injuries and a drop in quarterback play after Matt Barkley left.  That may be true, but Barkley himself is another USC player who looked like a first round draft pick at one point, only to have a year of struggles attributed to injuries that ultimately landed him in the fourth round and now will have to battle to make the roster.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather avoid drafting a player coming off a down season where you have built-in excuses such as injuries and how another player negatively affected his play.

At least not in the first round anyway.  Especially when we already have a Lee-esque type of receiver on the roster in Maclin.

Unfortunately, Kelly and the Eagles are apparently very interested in Lee:

I can confirm USC receiver Marqise Lee will visit the Eagles this week. Has met with #Eagles several times, per source, in various places.

Geoff Mosher

We also know that Kelly may favor players who have performed well against his team while at Oregon.  Lee has had outstanding games while playing against Chip’s Ducks which led him to state that:

 “Lee may be the best receiver I’ve had the opportunity to coach against.”

Take it for what you will.  Maybe it’s a smokescreen, maybe it’s not.  I’m sure Kelly’s comment was genuine and that there is at least some level of interest.  However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t someone whom he hasn’t coached against that he likes better.

If I was told that we would have to take a Wide Receiver in Round 1, I would take Kelvin Benjamin, Allen Robinson or maybe even Cody Latimer over Lee.  I like their size and upside better (plus I’m assuming Mike Evans would be gone).

However, we don’t have to take a receiver in Round 1 and certainly not Marqise Lee.  We could get a receiver with just as much upside as Lee in Rounds 2, 3 or perhaps even 4.

As far as receivers go, I’d much rather take someone like Cody Latimer, Jordan Matthews, Davante Adams, Martavis Bryant, Donte Moncrief or Josh Huff somewhere in Rounds 2 – 4 over someone like Lee in Round 1.

If the Eagles ended up taking Lee, I would be anything but excited.  However, at that point I’d have to accept him as an Eagle and hope for the best.

I just hope it doesn’t come down to that.


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8 Responses to Eagles Should Just Say No To Marqise Lee

  1. TroyB says:

    In a draft like this if Anthony Barr, Calvin Pryor or another talented player doesn’t fall to 22 I hope the eagles not only trade back with San Fran for either Cooks or Fuller but they trade back a second time time with the vikes out of the first round completely accumulating picks (Andy Reid special)… Second and third round talent in this draft is off the charts, they could get the top Guard in Gabe Jackson and two fsu highlight makers in Joyner and Jones all In the second round with their new flexibility… And still would have a shot at either Moncreif , Allen, or Abrededis in 3… This team isn’t as far away as people think… Getting nothing for Jackson blows but not maximizing opportunity in the draft would add insult to injury… Adding guys like Mcculars and his old tight end from Oregon late could have “Bryce Brown” type of potential… I don’t know why there’s so much hype around receivers to the eagles when Kelly favors the run, if the first pick isn’t defense it’ll be o line not wide receiver on offense… You heard it here first best case scenario for the birds: fuller cooks and one of the top qbs will all be available when its time for pick 22… Or as I call it catch-22…

    • Hey Troy, I’m with you on the trading back aspect…that is my preference as well. The Vikings have been aggressive in trading up in recent years and so have the 49ers. Hopefully we find a trade partner.

  2. Troy B says:

    The 49ers will have a hard time moving up because being so talented already not many teams will help a good team get better unless they over pay for it… Think about okc thunder they had more tradeable players and picks than anyone else in last years draft enough to move to the very first slot and were already a finals team but couldn’t get a single team to trade with them… I could see San Fran having similar issues, luckily the Eagles already have a solid team and will gladly let the 49ers give them their picks… By far the most solid team in NFC east… And safety isn’t in as bad of shape as people believe with the resigning of Nate Allen who will have a pro bowl year barring any injuries… I’d love to see Graham in a texans uniform for their third round pick tho… OLB and depth is all they really need… Maybe better starting NT… But Logan is solid rotational guy just not the run stuffer/block gobbler to go between cox an Thornton… Wish Geathers would have been better… The Eagles aren’t even close to finishing out the roster an wont be till after preseason cuts are finalized… They will be a dominant D if not by years end certainly by next year

    • Hey Troy, interesting thought about the 49ers. But, I don’t think NFL teams will feel that way. If the price is right and a team wants to move back for more picks, they’ll go with the best deal regardless of who the team is. Hell, the Eagles traded back with arch rival Dallas back in 2007!

      I like your optimism about the defense, but I also think they somewhat overachieved last year. They need a lot more talent and depth at just about every position, especially OLB like you said. I expect them to focus on versatile defenders in this draft…guys that can play multiple positions in order to give them some flexibility. Guys like Christian Jones (OLB/ILB/DE), Will Clarke (OLB/DE) and secondary players who can line up at safety, slot CB or outside CB in a pinch.

  3. Rod says:

    C.Johnson, Fitzgerald, Gordon, Thomas, Green, Jeffrey, Marshall, Bryant and V. Jackson all have something in common besides size. None of them have a SB ring. I’d like to see the eagles take 2 WR’s in this draft. The first would be Cooks. I think he’d make a fantastic slot WR with Maclin and Coop on the outside plus give us the deep threat we are gonna be missing with D-Jax gone. Then take the best guy with size that’s still on the board in rounds 3-4 for a developmental project, someone like Moncrief, Matthews or Robinson. This is a very deep class of WR’s so take advantage. We lost Jackson and Avant and don’t have much to replace them with. This is as good draft to restock the cupboard. The rest of the draft should go to the defense.

    • Good point Rod! Although at least Thomas and Fitz have been to one. Everyone is high on Cooks for the Eagles and while the “fit” might be good as far as him playing the DJax role, maybe Chip doesn’t want another DJax clone. He has been focusing on bigger WR’s so far as far as pre-draft interest the team has shown. And to be honest, there are several other players I’d rather draft at 22 besides Cooks. We do agree that this is a great draft to restock the cupboard at WR and I like the thought of adding Matthews, Moncrief or Robinson…though if it were Matthews or Robinson, it would have to be our 2nd rounder. Moncrief *might* be there in the 3rd.

  4. tval says:

    Agree 100% dave on kelvin.. such a bigger upside its crazy not to take him over lee at 22..lee is a good player and I think inconsistent play around him hurt his prospects. However, kelvin isnt near his ceiling and is immediate red zone mismatch


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