The Miami Dolphins continued their pre-NFL Draft preparations yesterday, with a visit from wide receiver Marqise Lee on the schedule, according to a report from Fox Sports' Ross Jones. Lee joins a list of draft prospects to visit the Dolphins that includes other wide receivers Martavis Bryant and Ron Herron.
In three years at USC, Lee appeared in 36 games. He recorded 248 receptions for 3,655 yards with 29 touchdowns. Last season, Lee saw his stats drop due to injuries, recording just 57 receptions for 791 yards and four touchdowns. In 2012, however, he led the NCAA in receptions with 118, tallying 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. He finished the year as a Consensus All-American, won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver, and was fourth in Heisman Trophy voting.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Lee recorded a 4.52 second 40-yard dash. He was third among the wide receivers in broad jump (127.0 inches) and eighth at the position in the 20-yard shuttle (4.01 seconds). He has a 31-3/4" army length and 9-1/2" hands.
Lee is seen as a route runner who will use that precision to get open, rather than simply running away from a defender. Once he has the ball in his hands, Lee is able to make tacklers miss. He's also not afraid to go up and get a ball, fighting for it when needed, and he is a dynamic punt/kick returner.
His durability is the obvious concern, with questions about his ability to take NFL punishment. He has to do a better job of protecting himself, making sure the injury concerns that appeared last year in college are in the past. If he feels the play or route is not working, he will start to adlib down field, which can frustrate a quarterback who is not anticipating the new route. As both a receiver and a return man, Lee needs to ensure he is locking away the ball, not leaving it available for defenders to strip.
Lee has been projected to land anywhere from within the top ten players selected at the Draft to one of the last players selected in the first round. He could be on the board when the Dolphins select with the 19th pick, and could be a consideration despite the team's need of an offensive lineman. In his Mock Draft on March 24, the Phinsider's Keith Beebe actually had the Dolphins picking Lee.
Lee would be the 23rd known draft prospect Miami has hosted on a private visit. Teams are allowed 30 total visits with draft prospects, with a "local visit" exception for players