USC wide receiver Marqise Lee stood as the consensus number one receiver in the NFL Draft heading into the 2013-14 season. And despite dealing with multiple injuries, instability from top to bottom at USC, and an overall decrease in personal production, Lee still stands as one of the class’ most dynamic playmakers.
When analyzing draft prospects, it’s important to remember one vital piece of information: game film outweighs statistics.
The underwhelming stat lines and inconsistent box scores mean very little once you watch the Inglewood, CA native in action. It’s easy to see that Lee possesses an incredibly high ceiling.
The way in which Lee got to where he is today is just as improbable as anything in sports. It would make any football fan want to cheer him on even more.
I caught up with the former Trojan after he met with teams and experienced the pre-draft process.
AM: Tell me a little bit about how you were introduced to the game of football, and how you found yourself playing at USC.
ML: I started playing at a young age, and out of all of the school’s that recruited me, USC was the best fit.
AM: Are there any NFL players that you look to model your game after, or anyone that inspires you to become a better player and person?
ML: There are lots of great players in the NFL, and I try to model my game after several of them as well as add in my own unique take on it, and there are a lot of people both in and out of the NFL who inspire me on as well as off the field.
AM: Watching you play, whenever the ball is in your hands, it seems that you can take it to the end zone for six. What do you believe are your strengths, and what do you bring to the NFL that separates yourself from other prospects?
ML: I think that my competitiveness is what ultimately what sets me apart as a player.
AM: In Kansas City, the Chiefs have a very young group of wide receivers, and are looking to add another playmaker. How would you envision yourself working with Head Coach Andy Reid, and competing for your job right off of the bat?
ML: I would love to play for coach Reid. His history of success is tremendous, especially on offense, and I would hope to become a part of it through my hard work and ability. It would be a lot of fun to play with guys like Jamaal Charles and catch passes from Alex Smith.
AM: If the Chiefs- or any team for that matter- select Marqise Lee on draft day, what type of player and teammate will they be getting?
ML: Hopefully the kind of player and teammate you want to trust with the game on the line in the 4th Quarter to make the winning play. That is always who I strive to be.
AM: Lastly, is there anything else that you’d like for Chiefs fans to know about you?
ML: Only that wherever I go, the team and it’s fans will be getting someone who will give maximum effort in everything they do and hopefully that gives them a player they are proud represents them.
Whether or not Marqise Lee will end up in Kansas City remains to be seen, but between his incredible story, likable personality and dynamic playmaking ability, there’s every reason to believe that the folks at One Arrowhead Drive have their eye on him.
It’s hard not to root for a player like Lee, and it would be a privilege to root for him while he continues to sport red and gold in Kansas City.
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