Mel Kiper released his first Mock Draft of the 2014 NFL Draft season and in it, he picks USC receiver Marquise Lee for the Jets with the eighteenth pick. Kiper has a staggering seven receivers coming off the board in the first round alone with the Jets nabbing his third best in Lee.
Analysis: It almost goes without saying that New York lacks anything resembling a No. 1 receiver, and a healthy Lee certainly resembles that as a prospect, making him a great fit here. Lee had a balky knee for a portion of 2013, but he looked close to 100 percent toward the end of the season, and we again saw that trademark explosiveness. Lee is a receiver who competes for the ball, runs good routes and can beat corners and safeties deep, but also has exceptional quickness and fluidity as a runner with the ball. He can change direction with so little noticeable loss of speed, it’s a treat to watch.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comAs we always say heading into this season, we try to not get too reactive to a hypothetical that will have so many iterations before the draft actually takes place. That said, the Jets do need a top receiver badly and this is a good class from which to pick.
With Sammy Watkins (5th) and Mike Evans (13th) already off the board, it is interesting to see Kiper place Lee as the third guy to be drafted. There was talk about Jordan Matthews being a first rounder, but he didn’t make Kiper’s top 32 selections. Everyone seems to think that Lee might not be the most physical or flashy player of this class, but he could be ready to contribute quicker than most which is exactly what the Jets will need with a high degree of turnover looming for the receivers.
The conundrum that the Jets might face at 18 is that the consensus could be there’s a dropoff in the physical abilities after Watkins and Evans. Kiper has the Ravens selecting TE Eric Ebron at 16. If it were between Ebron and Lee at 18? The Jets might select the tight end to turn around on receivers during day two — as the talent could flatten out on the second day of the draft. Assuming of course that seven teams don’t actually draft receivers in the first round as Kiper suggests.