Photo of Elijah Lee
Drafted By: Vikings
Grade
5.46 ?

Draft Analysis:

Lee will get camp looks as a special teams contributor, but the Vikings could really use his speed and overall athleticism at the 2nd level of their defense. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'3" Height
  • 228LBS. Weight

Overview

Lee was a high school star in the Kansas City area (Missouri Class 6A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) but crossed the border to play in Manhattan for venerable head coach Bill Snyder. He got on the field right away, playing in all 13 games as a reserve (19 tackles) and setting a school record for freshmen with 4.5 sacks. Lee was a second-team All-Big 12 selection as a sophomore starter, leading the Wildcats with 80 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and accumulating five sacks and three interceptions on the season. He continued to be a team leader in his final year with the program, topping the charts with 110 tackles (6.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks), intercepting two passes in a first-team All-Big 12 junior season.

Analysis

Strengths

Possesses angular build with long arms. Won't just give in to size. Works hard to constrict running lanes and will fire downhill into the gaps when they present themselves. Showed off impressive long speed and closing burst when chasing down ball carriers against Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl. Squares up in the hole and meets running backs heads up. Productive and disruptive behind the line of scrimmage. Rangy. Shows ability to navigate both high and low in weaving through the bodies in his pursuit to the ball. Adequate awareness in space in man coverage. Has athleticism and ball skills to stay on the field for all three downs.

Weaknesses

Missing the sand in his pants to power up and take on blocks effectively. Lacks instincts and feel for cutback lanes and counters. Can be goaded into false steps. Below average hand usage. Will need to learn to punch and separate or he could be overwhelmed by linemen. Plays too tall when sifting through the flow of traffic and will miss too many tackles. Needs to do better job of finding the ball in coverage. Too many ankle tackles rather than running through the target with a clean finish.

Draft Projection

Rounds 6-7

Bottom Line

Lee's playing style is more subtle than it is urgent and his upright playing style limits his tackling efficiency and suddenness in his change of direction. Lee has the speed to range all over the field and has the ball skills to warrant consideration on passing downs. If a linebacker coach can get him to play with better bend and get the play speed to match the timed speed, Lee could become an eventual starter in the league.
-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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