The 2017 NFL Draft has officially come and gone!
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons showed off a third day pick in Marquel Lee, and also saw free agents signed or invited to mini-camps in Ty Hayworth, Thomas Brown, and Brad Watson & Josh Banks.
While no one will confuse Wake as an Alabama or Ohio State any time soon, Clawson has to feel great about Lee being drafted by a contending franchise (okay, recently but let’s be positive) such as the Raiders.
OFF THE BOARD! Marquel Lee drafted in the fifth round by the @RAIDERS!!! #GoDeacs pic.twitter.com/UwqCQVKym3— Wake Forest Football (@WakeFB) April 29, 2017
While I had my doubts in Lee coming into the draft, mostly due to the lack of film showing extreme explosive athleticism, the Oakland Raiders aren’t expecting Lee to be the sideline to sideline linebacker of an early draft pick.
With his “great size” Lee is expected to compete for a starting middle linebacker spot, being a lane plugger and taking on blocks. In an era of spread and passing, Lee is a more traditional linebacker, willing to take on blocks. With whatever athleticism he may lack, Marquel makes up for it more than adequately with his instincts and ability to put his head in there.
While some scouts criticized Lee for “getting lost in traffic”, the Raiders are interestingly hoping he willingly plugs up the middle for other defenders to make plays.
Scouts had their questions and of course no player is perfect, but I could not think of a more ideal role for Lee than a place like Oakland. Lee will not be forced to change his game and he will have an opportunity to compete for playing time from the get-go.
What’s not to like?
Thank you Marquel for helping turn Wake Forest football around. We wish you nothing but the best in the league.