No member of the Carolina Panthers has ever caught more passes (836) for more yards (12,197) or touchdowns (67) than Steve Smith, who was released this offseason and is now playing in Baltimore. The 12-4 Panthers, who established themselves as Super Bowl contenders a year ago, will be in the market for a potential No. 1 receiver in the NFL Draft -- and that's exactly where lead blogger "Jaxon" from Cat Scratch Reader is taking the team with his mock draft pick.
|28. Panthers||Marqise Lee, USC||WR||6'0||192||JR|
"In need of No. 1 receiver, Lee represents a best player available meets biggest need pick for the Panthers.
I’m not going to say he will be able to replace Steve Smith in his prime, but in due time Lee could be a solid No. 1 for the Panthers. Lee had a monster season in 2012, catching 118 balls for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. He battled injuries in 2013, which honestly is the only reason he lasted to No. 28 in this mock draft. Lee is a remarkably fluid athlete, capable of changing directions quickly and shows developing savvy as a route runner, often using a hesitation move and shoulder dip to get defenders off balance. His vision, elusiveness and acceleration make him a terror after the catch, whether as a receiver or returner. He plays bigger than his size, showing the ability to go up and high-point passes amidst tight coverage and is an attentive, physical downfield blocker. He’s just the kind of wide receiver the Panthers need to complement their new veteran corps after the offseason purge. His only drawback is a slight frame, to which some compare him to Victor Cruz. That’s certainly not a bad thing."
Dan Kadar, our distinguished NFL Draft analyst, has some thoughts and opinions to share on the Panthers' mock draft pick of Lee:
A solid No. 1 is a good way to describe Lee. When he was at his best at Southern California, before injuries and bad quarterback play derailed his draft potential, Lee looked as good as any receiver in this class. He's not going to blow anyone away in any particular area, but he's good across the board. It won't be a surprise if the Panthers double up on receivers in the draft this year. Lee is a great place to start.
|12||Louis Nix||DT||Notre Dame||6'2||326|
|1||28||Carolina Panthers||Marqise Lee||WR||USC|