FanPost

Alternate WR/draft options

Like everyone else, I am interested in discussing the draft, and the way it looks now we may be in a decent position depending on how things shake out. However, I'm not quite with everyone else in the opinion that Sammy Watkins is the be all, end all WR of this year's draft. That doesn't mean I'm dead set on Evans either, although I feel he will fit our offense well. However, I think of all WRs available, there is one more that can truly fit the mold of #1 WR that can be had a bit later in the first: Marqise Lee.

Marqise Lee has been all too easily forgotten in the mire of a poor USC team and nagging injuries that significantly hurt his season, but I think we would all be foolish to forget the gametape he has for the entirety of the 2012/2013 season that made him a lock for the first round had he been eligible to come out. He isn't a significantly different build from Sammy Watkins, standing about 1 inch shorter and 20 pounds lighter, but I think we all know what this guy can do in the open field and even beyond that, I firmly believe he is actually the more explosive athlete of the two and his numbers show it.

Sammy Watkins vs. Marqise Lee measurables:

Watkins: 6'1", 211 lbs, 32" arm length, 9 5/8" hand size

Marqise: 6'0", 192 lbs, 31 3/4" arm length, 9 1/2" hand size

Watkins: 4.43 40, 34" vertical leap, 126" broad jump, 4.34 20 yard shuttle

Marqise: 4.52 40, 38" vertical leap, 127" broad jump, 4.04 (!) 20 yard shuttle

At first glance, you see two guys with fairly similar builds, though Watkins is definitely the bigger of the two and has a bit more of that breakaway speed. However, the vertical jump, broad jump, and shuttle times show a guy in Marqise Lee that is in fact more explosive and a quicker athlete overall. He is also capable of reaching just about any ball that Watkins can due to his better vertical leap and of course both guys have hands like glue.

The biggest difference between these two guys is the fact their college careers went in near opposite fashions. Watkins had a very disappointing sophomore year, but came on strong this year to leapfrog everyone to the top of the draft. Lee had a very strong (arguably one of the best WR seasons in a long time) sophomore year, but struggled significantly his junior year due to injuries and overall poor play from his offense.

Personally, I don't see a significant difference between the two in their overall ability. Lee is shiftier and better at making guys miss, while Watkins is better at using his frame to block guys off. These differences may be what makes Watkins the higher rated athlete, but I think in the context of our offense we would be just as well off having Lee as we would Watkins, which brings me to the biggest factor:

Marqise Lee can be had later in the first, while Watkins (if he is available at 9) will certainly be great trade fodder to move back. If we could trade back with a team such as Baltimore, allow them to get a guy they want to pair with Torrey Smith and grab our own stud in Lee, we could probably end up with an additional second rounder, if not more in the process. Buffalo is a team that needs help at more than one position in offense, and doing anything we can to move back and gather more picks while still collecting comparable talent is about as good as you can do. An additional pick in the 2nd round could easily turn into that stud TE and OT combination to really solidify the offensive line and passing game, which would go a long way to making EJ's life easier.\

And of course, this is all moot when the Raiders take Watkins with their pick, leaving us with whoever else happens to be available.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of BuffaloRumblings.com.

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