USC wide receiver Marqise Lee will forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft, he announced via his Twitter account Friday.
To all Trojan fans, I have decided to forego my senior season at USC and declare for the 2014 NFL Draft. I want to thank my coaches ...â Marqise Lee (@TeamLee1) January 4, 2014
Lee (6-foot, 195 pounds) was hampered by injuries for much of his junior season, but closed his college career with a flourish by catching two touchdowns in the Trojans' 45-20 win over Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks said after the game that he believes Lee will be the best wide receiver in the draft.
"At the end of it, Marqise Lee will be the best receiver in the draft when it comes to playing because he is so explosive," Brooks said. "He has the ability to score from anywhere on the field. We got a glimpse of how special he was in the Vegas Bowl when he was healthy. You saw the Marqise Lee that lit up everyone in 2012. I think he has the ability to be a difference-maker for any team in any role at the next level."
Lee was a unanimous All-American and won the Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver in college football in 2012 after setting new Pac-12 records in receptions (118) and receiving yards (1,721).
A dynamic athlete who played three sports in high school, Lee possesses elite acceleration, change of direction and body control, which all manifests in his ability to produce significant gains after the catch and as a return specialist.
After alternating between safety and wide receiver at Gardena (Calif.) Serra, where he played alongside Buffalo Bills rookie Robert Woods and Colorado standout Paul Richardson -- who will also enter the draft after his junior season -- Lee began focusing on developing his craft as a pass catcher when he got to USC.
It is that combination of athleticism along with his ability to continue to improve that should see Lee selected in the first round.
Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.