The Jaguars receiving corp was the recipient of a lot of offseason hype, and with good reason - featuring Pro Bowlers Allen Robinson and Julius Thomas, plus the former undrafted free agent turned stud WR Allen Hurns, the Jaguars looked ready for a break out season on offense. While the national media was largely focused on the big names in Jacksonville there was another receiver waiting, working, and preparing for the 2016 season.
Marqise Lee was a 2nd round pick in the 2014 NFL draft, but since joining the Jaguars Lee hasn't been able to stay healthy for a full season. In his first two seasons Lee missed 9 games, but was largely ineffective in the games he did appear in, seemingly always nursing a lower extremity injury.
The script flipped this offseason. He finally stayed healthy for an entire offseason program, training camp, and preseason.
With his newly found health, Lee has put together an impressive start to the 2016 season. While Julius Thomas, Allen Hurns, and Allen Robinson have failed to live up to their lofty offseason expectations, Lee has quietly been one of the more consistent contributors for the Jaguars on offense. He's not ever going to be the Jaguars #1 or #2 receiver as long as the Allen brothers are around, but Lee has found his niche as the Jaguars third receiver. He's caught 22 of 30 targets on the season and has been perhaps the most reliable target for Bortles this year. While Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns have caught 51% and 52% of their targets respectively in 2016 , Lee has hauled in 73% of his.
I'm not trying to make the case that Lee is better or more important to the Jaguars than the Allens or even Julius Thomas, for that matter, all I'm trying to say is that he has become a reliable target for Blake Bortles, and has been the most efficient receiver for the Jaguars in 2016. He's on pace for 70 catches and 750 receiving yards - huge numbers for a third WR.
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