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BroadwayJets

Darron Lee

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6 hours ago, BroadwayJets said:

Haven't watched him since I wrote this, but was hoping for more feedback/opinions on him. To me this guy is either someone I'm painfully wrong about, or someone who is obviously a reach. Is his hype all hope-driven in the respect that he has the tools to be a fantastic LB? He certainly has the tools but IMO hasn't exactly showcased them in action. I know he ran a good 40 too if I'm not mistaken.

If you believe that Coach Bowles is serious about adding speed to the defense (specifically to the LB unit), then Lee's an ideal candidate for our current drafting slot.  Darron Lee is the 35th rated player (6.07 grade), but he was a top performer in the: 40-yard dash (4.47), the vertical jump (35.5"), the broad jump (133.0"), and the 20-yard shuffle (4.20), and his arrow is clearly pointing up being only three years removed from playing high school QB. 

Myles Jack is far-and-away the superior prospect; he's literally the second-highest rated player in the draft (7.5 grade).  But considering what it would cost to move up and get him (additional draft picks and/or Big Mo), it might not be worth it...even if he is a generational player... despite what Beerfish says. lol

The cumulative effect of an instinctive, and speedy LB, in Lee, paired with Wilkerson's ability to disrupt the pocket, might be better than a ball-hawking playmaker at the second level that can cover slot receivers and bring the thump, and run the ball on goalline, and play hybrid nickle-safety. 

 

Quote

OVERVIEW

Lee's never been short on confidence, proclaiming to teammates that he was the one to take over for 2014 first-round pick Ryan Shazier in the Buckeyes' defense -- even though he was only a year removed from starring as a quarterback and cornerback in high school. He wound up starting all 15 games in that redshirt freshman year for the national champion Buckeyes, earning multiple Freshman All-American accolades with 81 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. Lee truly hit the national stage by terrorizing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, receiving Defensive MVP honors with seven tackles, three for loss, and two sacks. His play as a sophomore was just as good, tracking down ball carriers 66 times, 11 for a loss and 4.5 sacks on his way to second-team All-Big Ten accolades from league coaches (third team media).

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS

 Quick to diagnose and flow to the ball. Has unusual ability to find the most efficient routes to the ball. Has athleticism and flexibility to contort his body and succeed through difficult tackle angles. Plays with loose hips, quick feet and desired agility of an NFL weak-side linebacker. Former high school quarterback with the change of direction and speed to be a rangy playmaker. Comfortable in space and excels there. Has plus man cover talent. Willing to stand in and take on blockers with a leveraged strike if his gap is being threatened. Capable gap blitzer with ability to get skinny through the holes.

WEAKNESSES

 Smallish linebacker. Play strength doesn't come close to matching puffed up listed weight. Balance issues at point of attack could plague him over his NFL career. Has the body type of a big safety. Tape shows few authoritative tackles. Involved in too many arm and shoestring tackles. Comes flying in and fails to come to balance at times. Charged with 21 missed and five broken tackles over the last two seasons. Always at size disadvantage and will have to learn to slip more blocks. Can get better at finding targets in zone coverage.

NFL COMPARISON

 Zach Brown

BOTTOM LINE

 Lee's level of NFL success might very well be tied to scheme fit and his ability to add more muscle to his frame. His athletic traits and ability to make plays should make him a starter, but he won't unlock his full potential unless he gets strong enough to handle the rigors of an NFL linebacker.

   

 

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Lee has combine numbers that are comparable to Bruce Irvin, and Zach Brown

Darron Lee (6'1, 232) : 40-yard dash (4.47), the vertical jump (35.5"), the broad jump (133.0"), and the 20-yard shuffle (4.20)

Bruce Irvin (6'3, 245) : 40-yard (4.50), vertical (33.5"), broad (123.0"), 20-yard shuttle (4.03)...had a pre-combine draft grade of 2nd round, but was famously selected #15 overall by Seattle.  

Zach Brown (6'1, 244) : 40-yard (4.50), vertical (33.5"), broad (116.0")...was considered the fastest (straight-line) LB in his draft class.  Went on to get drafted #52 overall by the Titans.   

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