Photo of Darron Lee
Drafted By: Jets
  • Round 1
  • Pick 20
  • Overall 20

Combine Results

Grade
6.27 ?
  • 4.47 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 17 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 35.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 133.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.12 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.20 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"He's today's NFL outside linebacker. He ran a 4.47 40 at 232 pounds. He's a sideline-to-sideline, three-down linebacker. His weakness is if you cover him up against a big body, he will struggle." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'1" Height
  • 33 1/4" Arm Length
  • 232LBS. Weight
  • 9 3/4" Hands

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.

Draft Projection

Round 1

Sources Tell Us

"Don't get overly excited about Ragland making a lot of plays behind those tackles at Alabama. It won't be that way in the pros. Lee had talent on his defense too, but he's a natural three-down player who can cover and blitz. He's a much better playmaker than Ragland." -- AFC executive

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.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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