Categorized | 2014 Draft, Article, Prediction

USA Today Mock Draft Has Steelers Selecting USC WR Marqise Lee In Round One


Now that the Super Bowl is over, we are sure to see an increase in mock drafts from the major media websites. On Tuesday, Nate Davis of USA Today released his initial mock of the first round and has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting USC wide receiver Marqise Lee with the 15th overall selection.

Davis writes:

They’d probably love a bigger body like Evans’ to supplement diminutive Antonio Brown, but the talented Lee (6-0, 195) is probably too good to pass up as a replacement for Emmanuel Sanders.

Lee is the third wide receiver off the board in Davis’ mock this go around as he has both Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans already off the board come time for the Steelers selection.

We will break down Lee more thoroughly in a future post, but in the tape I have watched of him, the thing that really stuck out was his willingness to block. He might be the best blocking wide receiver in this class.

While he is regarded mostly as a hands catcher, Lee did have some drop problems at USC and he’s not above catching with his chest when it is not called for. You should know that he only had a 62.6% catch rate and one red zone touchdown catch in 2013 after having seven in 2012.

Lee is a former high school defensive back and while he is physical with his play, he has had some issues getting clean releases off the line of scrimmage against press coverage at times. While at USC, Lee showed that he is good at getting yards after the catch and generally a target everywhere within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage. He was used quite a bit on screens last season and also returned both punts and kickoffs for the Trojans.

Lee had a left knee injury that forced him to miss playing time in 2013, so you can bet that will be checked out thoroughly at the combine later this month.

While Lee will more than likely be drafted in the first round, I can’t help but feel that 15th overall might be a tad too early for him. What say you?

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Kevin Gobleck

    I wouldn’t mind Lee, but i would rather a bigger bod like Evans, Benjamin, or Robinson, etc.

  • Brian Miller

    I have said before that I think Pittsburgh should take either Evans, Lee or Watkins IF they are available at 15. I really feel like the #15 is a tough spot this year…I really like Hageman and Pryor as well, but feel like 15 may be too high for them as well. Ultimately, it should be BPA on their board, and I hope it is Lee all things being equal.

  • Steve

    Lee could fit right into the Steelers system. He likes to block, runs back kickoff and punts. Seen a few USC games and he reminded me of Ward in that he can knock the guy on his butt. I am all for this pick and have mentioned him before.

  • Brian Miller

    I think 15 is way too high for Benjamin, especially considering his drops and propensity to be disengaged at times. Now, if we moved back, picked up some extra picks, and got him late in the first or in the second, I’m liking that!!

  • Josh Knepshield

    Mike Evans or Zack Martin

  • SteelersDepot

    You do realize that Lee’s drop percentage last year was higher than Benjamin’s, right?

  • Kevin Gobleck

    I think other needs we have out weigh the need at o line. I’d guess Secondary, or WR/TE

  • Steve

    We have the line and needed a Coach, which Muncheck will do.

  • Steve

    Some quotes about Lee: Stanford head coach David Shaw: “Marquise Lee is the best college receiver that I’ve seen since I scouted Randy Moss.”

    Former Oregon and current NFL head coach Chip Kelly: “He may be the best receiver I’ve had the opportunity to coach against. He’s impressive on film, but even more impressive when you watch him in person.”

    UCLA head coach Jim Mora: “He’s not an NFL prospect, he’s an NFL for-sure. He could start in the NFL right now.”

    Arizona State head coach Todd Graham: “Hands down, Lee is the best receiver in the country. He can take it to the house any time he touches the ball.”

    Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez: “He’s phenomenal. It seemed like he was at a different speed, didn’t he? It looked like we had angles, and he was out-running angles.”

  • dkoy85

    Dont know much about him other than some highlight videos but with people calling for Sanders head because of his drop “issues” I can’t see how Steelers Nation would be happy with this pick. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy with him… but I wasn’t up in arms about Sanders drops. We could definitely use a good blocking WR, but is it worth the 15th overall pick?

  • Kevin Gobleck

    And I think Ben would rather have Benjamin over Lee any day of the week

  • Shawn Winbush

    If Lee slips,it would only be because of the knee concerns.before this year,he was the clear-cut best reciever in college football.Lee @ # 15 would be not be a reach. He may be undervalued. I would not be opposed to them drafting Lee at all.

  • Michael Pearce

    15 is too high for Lee.

  • Jazz

    Lee at #15 would be a bit too high, just my opinion. I think if Evans is off the board, look for the CB out of Oklahoma, this guy will be great. If not, take a look at Safety. The draft will be full of tall Receivers they could possibly find later in rds 3 and 4.

  • Shawn Winbush

    what makes Lee a reach @ 15?? opinions are welcome.

  • Matt Manzo

    Man this is tough! Lee does have the talent and that something special! I just can’t let go of my desire for a big bodied WR. If we got Lee I’d love to see Justin Brown get every chance to show what he’s got!

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Wait…so he can block but he’s got the dropsies. Might as well put Beachum in the slot…he can block and drop passes too. He’s already lined up as a TE just have’m pick his hand up and scoot a few feet over.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Good thinking. LOL!

  • Iron Cadet

    Nah that’s way too high for lee given his drops and injuries. Ive said it many times if we go wide receiver in round 1 then that declares wheaton a 3rd receiver at best. Odds are that it will be dline or linebacker due to the depth in DBS and the lack of a truly elite one. I know we all want a flashy 1st round pick but I don’t see it happening except for a tight end

  • alex

    given the success of multiple WRs at varying draft rounds, i would be skeptical of using #15 for a WR unless he was Megatroish…

    EBRON all the way = matchup nightmare…! then the rest of our draft on D…

  • Brian Miller

    That may be true, but I think Lee’s value and upside is more along the lines of 2012 production: 1st in the nation in receptions(118), 2nd in yards(1721), 3rd in TDs(14), and tied for 1st in receptions over 15 yards(40!!). I believe he was hurt (pardon the pun) by injuries and QB play this year, but he was definitely helped last year by having Woods taking coverage. I also think he is a better blocker.

  • Brian Miller

    I’m sure he would be happy with a great receiver, even if the receiver is not 6’4”…should we have passed on AB because he wasn’t the height that Ben stated he wants? How about just a great receiving core regardless of how tall they are?

  • Matt Manzo

    For me it’s Ebron or Gilbert in 1. I don’t know enough about the mid round TEs yet to say we could wait. There will be good CBs in round 2.
    What I think could mess up all my plans is taking LBs in 1,2 or 3. Some mocks are going that way. Even NTs in 1. Would screw everything I’ve got going.

  • Matt Manzo

    I’m starting to feel like something crazy will happen in rnd 1. Like someone falling to us, or a trade down?

  • Steeler Fanatic

    The Steelers don’t need to draft a receiver, they need playmakers on defense. If they re-sign Cotchery they have Brown and Wheaton. They can find a big receiver in the middle rounds. I am not understanding the media’s obsession with big receivers going to the Steelers. Get athletes on defense… Playmakers with attitude. Outside of a tight end, i would draft eight players on defense. It is that much of a need.

  • PA2AK

    I can’t see them drafting a WR in the first round unless it is a big bodied guy. Especially considering their ability to draft great small WR in 3rd or later. Also, the needs throughout the team…I just don’t see it, not this year.

  • PA2AK

    I wouldn’t go all out on D, but I’m with you on the rest.

  • Steeler Fanatic

    Well, maybe i am a bit over the top with 8 def. draftees, but i would be okay with six. If they can scrounge up the $$$, i would make a run at the Packers’ Sam Shields.

  • PA2AK

    Hopefully they identify the RIGHT defensive guys too. Sam Shields is risky, but after they get Worilds wrapped up and some of these vet contracts trimmed…maybe go after him.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    When others say great things about you in the industry you should take notice. Those quotes really bump up his stock IMO.

  • Patrick Reid

    Agreed.

  • Patrick Reid

    IMO, I think that Watkins is the only WR I would take at 15. That said, I think its mute because I would be very surprise to see him fall.

  • Patrick Reid

    I am for Nix and solidifying our D up the middle at 15. If no, would love to grab Ebron. A matchup nightmare, who we could run dual sets with Heath. Aside from picking up DAT or Archer later go all D otherwise.

  • William Weaver

    Defense wins championships and we don’t have a championship defense yet so I am with you. The idea of Lee, Brown and Wheaton is intriguing but our offense is not the problem. Defensive playmakers/ball hawks are what we need. Stop the run, get after the QB and take the ball away. That is the steeler method. Build that.

  • http://pittsburghsportsinat.blogspot.com/ bgsteelfan

    Gag

  • http://pittsburghsportsinat.blogspot.com/ bgsteelfan

    I agree. WR in the 3rd maybe unless they go for a playmaking TE, I agree. They have desperate needs on defense and WR is one of the last positions they should be spending a 1st on this year.

  • http://pittsburghsportsinat.blogspot.com/ bgsteelfan

    The depth of this WR class for one. The drops and low catch rate for another.

  • joed32

    I see a lot of mock drafts where he goes higher than 15. If he’s the player he showed in 2012 he would be a steal there. I still have a little problem trusting a USC WR because most of them don’t turn out to well in the NFL

  • Brendan

    Draft the best player, period. There’s a good chance Lee will be just that at 15. Draft for need later in the draft, in the first draft for value.

  • Callentown

    I can’t see the Steelers taking a WR in the first round at this point unless they felt he was the next Calvin or Fitz. I see TE as a bigger need also.

  • 243546

    People are placing to much emphasis on size. Seattle’s starting WR’s in the Super Bowl were both 5’10”. The 2012 Ravens WR’s were all in the 6’0″-6’1″ range. The 2011 Giants and 2010 Packers weren’t huge at WR either. I’m not saying that a tall WR is a bad thing, but route running, and the ability to create separation are more important.

  • Steve

    Big WR don’t do well in the Steelers system. Plex, Moye are less than average, big TE do.

  • dkoy85

    I could see Ebron being our #1. A lot of people on here are against a TE round one because of Heath having 2-3 years left but IMO drafting a TE is the best way to sure up the O. The combination of Miller and Ebron the next couple years could be something great. Why not draft a guy with the chance to be great to learn aside of Heath for a couple years? Plus Wheaton wasnt drafted to be the #3 and Brown wasnt paid to be the #2 and you dont draft in the first round to find a #2… unless youre stacked to the max.

    With Ben practing in Cally with Wheaton and Moye it could show that is our future at #2 and #3. So who knows if WR is really a first or second round pin on the draft board.

  • PA2AK

    Don’t get me wrong…I would love to have a big WR with the Steelers. My point is not now, not with the other needs, not when they are crafty at finding a later round WR that provides legit value.

  • Iron Cadet

    We can hope. with 3-4 qbs likey going in the top 10 and at least 2 oline there should be a talented defensive player that falls.

  • Steve

    Benjamin is big and can catch but he does not give us the skills of Lee who ran track at USC and is an athlete.

  • PA2AK

    and he may very well turn into a stud in the NFL…just think it’s a mistake for the Steelers if they were to take a WR prior to 3rd.

  • Steve

    Playmaker should be number 1. An athlete that can do many things, weather on either side of the ball. A shutdown corner that can return kicks and tackle is no problem. The guy should be a workout warrior who can run.

  • ATL96STEELER

    I wouldn’t use SEA as a comparison given their OFC was clearly not what got them to the SB.

    To your point…Yes, and no…a big bodied WR is not an absolute, but a big WR that can play will complement the play of A.Brown imo better than 2 similar players.

  • ATL96STEELER

    The Steelers do need to draft a WR…Wheaton is unproven, Cotchery is a possession guy and Moye is unproven. That’s 2 players aside from Miller Ben can count on.

    DEF…no doubt, PIT needs playmakers…but @ 15…the BPA is probably going to be an OFC player this year…there will be solid DEF players on the board, Mosley, Dix, Hageman, Mack, maybe Gilbert, but nobody that will jump in and start next season.

  • Josh Knepshield

    Mike Evans is a wide receiver….so ok. Kelvin Beachum is better suited for a swing tackle role, not full time starter at the game’s 2nd most important position.

  • Josh Knepshield

    The corner from Oklahoma? Aaron Colvin is the only draftable corner from Oklahoma, and he wasn’t a 1st round pick even before he tore his ACL at the senior bowl. Im gonna guess that you mean Oklahoma State and Justin Gilbert, but that is still too high for him.

  • Tom Rupert

    I cannot fathom the Steelers taking an offensive player in the first two rounds of the draft this year…we desperately need speed on D!!! I have no clue who that may be but I’m certain we’ll pick up the best/fastest defensive players available. Thank you for your breakdown and analysis. I rely heavily on The Depot for good information. Much better than the “news” sites.

  • Jazz

    I disagree, CB’s are hard to find, and when you go back 20yrs+, the Steelers have done an awful job of finding them as well. I think this kid could come in and give them some much needed help immediately. And yes, I meant Justin Gilbert; the only thing I dislike about Gilbert is his last name. I just hope he doen’t end up being another bust like Marcus Gilbert.

  • Josh Knepshield

    There is a reason the Steelers don’t take corners in the first round. For every great CB, there is a bust or two. This goes double for a CB as raw as Gilbert. It is not the Steelers style to take a risky, raw, corner in the first round.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I believe the first will be spent on def probably cb/fs if they go offense it probably be te position

  • MC

    I don’t know much about these prospects but from what i’ve read it does a seem a lil high for Lee. I’d love for the steelers to trade down a handful of spots and re-evaluate whether they pick between him or Benjamin if they’re both there.

  • Jazz

    I agree, any player you take in the 1st round has the potential to be a bust, just look at Marcus Gilbert, Mike Adams, Ziggy Hood. Two 2nd round busts and 1 first round bust. DB’s – Curtis Brown, 3rd RD; Anthony Smith, 3rd RD; Brian McFadden, 2nd RD; Ricardo Coclogh, 2nd RD. So, my point being is this, the Steelers have selected DB’s early in RDS (1-3) in the past, five since 2004. The problem is this, they have all been duds! With the exception of Keenan Lewis, Colbert and the Scouting Department has done a poor job of evaluating talent. Selecting defensive players, especially DB’s and Safeties, the Steelers have done a poor job and it’s past due someone should be held accountable.

  • Jazz

    I agree, the depth of the WR Class in this years draft, and the fact Lee has been injury prone. The kid has had too many issues with his knees, taking him at #15 would be too risky, maybe in the 2nd. The Steelers need to draft a player that can come in and have an immediate impact. Now, we all know they can’t look into the Crystal Ball and determine if any player will be able to do that. But lately it seems like the Steelers never do draft a player that can make an immediate impact. Ok, Bell did a nice job last year, Antonio Brown in his Rookie season as well. But rarely do we ever see any Steeler Rookie come in and make an impact. If Mike Evans is there at #15, that is the only WR I think would be worth taking a risk at.

  • Jazz

    Man, I’ve never seen the Steelers take a TE that high, I don’t see it happening.

  • Jazz

    I’m with you on that 100%!

  • Shawn Winbush

    what’s too many issues? he had knee and injuries issues last year which came back. i think u may want to watch his last college game.didn’t look like his knees or ankle bothered him there. easily the best player on the field that day. I like Mike Evans talent,but he has issues also,most importantly,character issues.

  • Jazz

    The kid has been injury prone the past two seasons, he’s fragile. Yes, when he is healthy and on the field, he’s probably one of the top three WR’s in the draft. The question though is this, do they take the risk and use a #1 pick on a guy that has been subject to injuries? I say No; and what issues are you referring to about Evans? First I heard of any issues with the kid.

  • Josh Knepshield

    I wouldn’t call Cortez a bust. He is pretty solid with upside for the future. I just can’t see the Steelers taking a raw, risky corner at a time when we need a player for the present just as much as for the future.

  • Shawn Winbush

    issues like being labeled a quitter on the field and team on more than one occasion.like being a malcontent in the locker room.we have dealt with that before (Wallace).not sure if we need to go down that road again.you see how that turned out.

  • Jazz

    I think you misread my post, I never mentioned Cortez Allen as a bust. As a matter of fact I think he has tremendous upside. I do think the Steelers made a huge mistake letting Keenan Lewis walk and keeping Ike Taylor though. I do believe that Curtis Brown is a Bust though.

  • Jazz

    If you have facts that are true about what you’re saying, then I have to agree as well. Has anyone else out there heard these kind of things about Evans? If so, please feel free to jump in, welcome any feedback.

  • Josh Knepshield

    Oh it just seemed. My bad you said rounds 1-3. My bad

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