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Marqise Lee's status as No. 1 receiver split among NFL scouts


The injuries that contributed to Marqise Lee's underproductive 2013 season at USC might have dampened some people's expectations for him, but certainly not his own.

Lee said he believes he'll be the go-to receiver for whoever drafts him next week, most likely in the first round.

"I feel like I am the caliber to be that No. 1 receiver," Lee said, according to "That's my goal: to come in immediately and get it going."

Yet, there is some hesitation among scouts to crown Lee as a No. 1 receiver-to-be.

"He's going to be just a well-rounded, productive player," said one NFL personnel man. "But I wouldn't necessarily say he's a sure No. 1 in three years. With Lee, nobody knows where he's going to go."

A poll of 17 NFL personnel men by revealed that Lee is rather convincingly among the draft's top five receivers -- at least for those polled -- but he also polled just as convincingly outside the top three of Clemson's Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M's Mike Evans and LSU's Odell Beckham.

Southern Cal's recent history of producing NFL receivers certainly doesn't bode well for Lee, either.

A preseason shoulder injury and an in-season knee sprain made for a rough junior year for Lee. He still caught 57 passes for 791 yards last year -- a strong season by most any standard -- but not for a guy who lit up the Pac-12 Conference for 118 catches, 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns just a year earlier.

Lee insists, however, that recapturing his dynamic 2012 form only requires good health.

"Ain't nothing changed," he said. "I don't know what scouts are seeing as far as me being this in 2012 and me being this in 2013. As far as production goes and doing my job, it's the same. The only thing that changed is stuff I couldn't control."

Speaking of things he can't control, the draft commences in six days.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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