Marqise Lee reportedly fell in draft because of knee injury

Marqise Lee knee

Marqise Lee is one of the top wide receiver prospects in the NFL Draft, but he slipped out of the first round and that reportedly is because of concerns teams have about his knee.

You may recall that Lee injured his knee in September in USC’s loss to Arizona State. He missed the team’s next game and the game against Utah two weeks later. He also missed the team’s game against Colorado in November. His absence in those games were because of what was thought to be a knee sprain and leg injury.

Draft Insider’s Tony Pauline reported on Friday that Lee fell because there are some red flags about Lee’s knee. He also said “there were whispers the condition of [Lee's] knee was worse than USC was letting on and in recent weeks there’s been talk teams were concerned over the injury.”

Lee will still go in round two in all likelihood, but this explains why five receivers were drafted ahead of him.

H/T Rotoworld

Marqise Lee was a Queen Street Bloods gang member when he was 10

Marqise Lee USCMarqise Lee is one of the top wide receiver prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft, and it’s pretty incredible that he’s made it this far when you consider his background.

Lee caught 29 touchdown passes over three seasons at USC, including a sophomore season where he caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards. The speedy receiver grew up in Inglewood, Calif., and his mother lost custody of him and his siblings when he was five. From there, he moved around different foster homes and even lived in a motel. Without much direction or guidance, he ended up joining a gang at a young age.

“My brothers went down the wrong road as far as gang banging and everything. I followed them for a couple of footsteps but then I had to change,” Lee recalled in a video feature for ESPN’s “Draft Academy.”

According to the “Draft Academy” special on Lee, the former USC receiver joined the Queen Street Bloods gang — based out of the west part of Inglewood — when he was 10. One of his older brothers was actually killed, while the other ended up in jail.

In a story on Grantland, Lee even shared that he had to fight a high school-aged member to get in the gang and he won the fight despite being an elementary school kid. But his brothers prevented him from partaking in most of the gangbanging and he moved away before long, which pretty much ended his gang life.

Lee eventually begged his way into Serra High School in Gardena, Calif., and eventually moved into a home with one of his friends.

So far, Lee has made it. He definitely came a long way and overcame a lot and figured out the proper path to success.

“It’s surreal to me because I never had a dream of going to the NFL. I never watched it. I didn’t even watch football because I never thought I was going to actually make it. And that’s where I’m at now — training for the combine,” Lee told Draft Academy.

Marqise Lee announces he is leaving USC for NFL Draft

Marqise Lee USC

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee announced on Twitter Friday that he would be foregoing his senior year to enter the NFL Draft.

Lee accumulated 248 receptions, 3,655 yards and 29 touchdowns in his three years at USC. Lane Kiffin made him the focal point of the offense in 2012, resulting in him putting up monstrous stats — 118 catches, 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. But after Matt Barkley complained that the offense focused too much on Lee, USC balanced things out more this season. That combined with Lee missing a few games with injuries resulted in a dropoff in his stats. Still, Lee will likely be a first-round pick.

Marqise Lee suffers knee injury against Arizona State

Marqise Lee knee injury

USC star wide receiver Marqise Lee suffered a knee injury during Saturday’s game against Arizona State and had to be helped off the field.

The junior receiver was returning a punt with his team down 48-21 to the Sun Devils early in the fourth quarter when the injury occurred. Lee escaped two tackles and got to near midfield on his return, but he was tackled from behind and had his body pulled backwards while his knee was planted in front of him. Lee was down on the field in pain and was immediately treated by the USC trainers.

Lee was helped off the field by his teammates and did not put any pressure on his knee as he left the field. He was laid down on a training table and covered his face with a towel while he was in obvious pain.

Lee had 7 catches for 92 yards in the game prior to his injury. Earlier in the game, Lee surpassed Johnnie Morton to become the Trojans’ all-time leading receiver.

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