Marqise Lee's lack of production during his junior season at USC -- especially after playing like one of college football's best wide receivers as a sophomore -- had everything to do with him slipping into the second round. A common explanation for the pedestrian numbers: Quarterback Matt Barkley left for the NFL and a lingering knee injury bothered Lee for much of the 2013 campaign.
Now with the Jaguars, Lee has an opportunity to earn a starting job on a team desperate for downfield playmakers. He played 16 snaps (no catches, no targets) with the Jaguars' first team in Friday's preseason game against the Buccaneers. But if coach Gus Bradley's comments are any indication, something must change for Lee to remain in the lineup.
“I think that's one of those things we're looking at -- it's the consistency," Bradley said, via Jacksonville.com's Ryan O'Halloran. "Run your routes [like the football] is coming to you. You can't change speeds. You can't choose when and when not to. I've told you before that I've seen him switch to where he's more focused.
“I'd like to visit with him about what happened [Friday]. He did play good, but he could have done some things even more precise. It wasn't exactly where we need him to be.”
Not exactly how you want to hear the coach talk about a rookie high-round pick and a potentially important cog in the offense. The good news is that Bradley says that Lee did play well at times, but it's hard to sugarcoat the other concerns, especially in a passing game that's trying to reinvent itself after finishing dead last in the league a year ago, according to Football Outsiders.