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Darron Lee Finally Looking the Part of a First Rounder


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Three seasons ago, the New York Jets took Darron Lee with the 20th overall pick in the 2016 draft out of Ohio State University.  Despite having played the position for just two seasons after transitioning from quarterback, Based on his size and measurables, Lee expected to play a big role in helping the Jets improve the linebackers against the pass.

During his rookie season, Lee struggled as he was learning the nuances of the linebacker position at the pro level and what it takes to play there in the NFL. He finished the season with 73 total tackles, 2 passes defended and a sack. Not eye-popping numbers, but for a player learning the position, he was given some leeway.

Fast forward to year two with a season in an NFL system at inside linebacker under his belt, and fans were optimistic that Lee would be much improved.  There was better production as Lee tallied 94 total tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 passes defended. The numbers as we know however, do not tell the whole story. Darron Lee’s second year was largely viewed as a disappointment as he struggled in coverage and was often caught up in traffic in the run game with a lack of impact plays.

Now entering his third pro season, Lee is hoping to avoid the bust label and is off to a strong start in doing so. as he looked like a legitimate first round pick on Monday night. Lee had his best game as a pro in pass coverage, which was evident with his 2 interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Lee also had seven total tackles (tied for most on team), and 3 passes defended, the same number he had in all of 2017.

Obviously it’s just one game, but it looks like Darron Lee may have finally turned the corner and is looking like the talent the Jets hoped he would be. If he can keep this up, Lee will go from first round miss, to a big time hit.

The post Darron Lee Finally Looking the Part of a First Rounder appeared first on JetNation.com (NY Jets Blog & Forum).

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This is what it takes for the Jets to become contenders. Their picks have to start panning out. This is also what all these so called experts can’t predict. If Lee and Jenkins and Adams and Maye and maybe Burris and this years defensive picks all get good this season then we will have one hell of a defense. Well I guess we only have 1 offensive pick - Darnold - but if he pans out like we all think then Bingo - we in business baby!

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I honestly believe that much of Darron Lee's issues in years 1 and 2 were how he was used in the Jets' scheme.  

I need to watch the game again and see what defensive scheme they generally used, but my guess is that is was usually 3 DL, at least 5 DBs, and LBs as filler.  

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1 hour ago, Tinstar said:

Wow, who would have thought it could’ve taken 2 seasons for a kid with no real position at the college level to learn how to play inside linebacker at the highest level in the pro game .

Extremely smart of a gm to draft a guy 20th overall who has no position in college.

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I don't know what we are going to see out of Lee for the rest of the season.  But for his first two seasons, he has been hesitant, lacked instincts, and for two years, I said the next time he takes a good angle on a play will be the first.  I can't say that anymore.  Monday night, the hesitation was gone.  This is a play from Monday night when he blew up a screen.

The recognition, immediate reaction, the speed, correct angle.  This is what he was drafted to be.  It was one game, and maybe it will prove to be an outlier, and he will go back to being the guy he was for the last two years, but for the first time in the two years since we drafted him, I am thinking there is a chance he could be a good player.

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