The New York Jets made a wise decision with their No. 20 overall pick when they selected linebacker Darron Lee in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
In what seemed like the longest 10 minutes ever when the Jets were on the clock, rumors were running rampant that they might have considered going quarterback. With Paxton Lynch still available for the taking, there was a point of mystery that maybe the Jets would have gone through with such a stunning move.
General manager Mike Maccagnan knew that for the Jets to have long-term success, it’s imperative they addressed one of their main weaknesses of last season in regards to their overall pass rush. The Jets ended 2015 at 10-6 and a game away from earning the Wild Card spot in the NFL Playoffs but their consistent problem was not getting to the quarterback fast enough.
Feb 28, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Darron Lee participates in workout drills during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Now with Lee ready to make his noise as he transitions into the NFL, the pass rush of the Jets just got a whole lot better. At 6’1 and 232 pounds, Lee brings speed, aggression and a knack at blitzing quarterbacks like there is no tomorrow.
In his collegiate career at Ohio State, Lee totaled 146 tackles, 11.0 sacks and three forced fumbles. The best part about Lee is that he might not have had such explosive stats in college but he brings consistency and a high motor that doesn’t stop when he’s ready to make key defensive stops.
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As an overachiever, he’s a complete linebacker with a skill-set to pressure quarterbacks and do well in zone coverage.
He loves to hit hard and make sure he leaves his impression every time he’s able to take down the ball carrier.
Lee is also a natural born tackler that enjoys getting past opposing offensive linemen right at the point of attack.
Now that the Jets started off this year’s draft addressing one of their main areas of opportunity, it will be great to see what Lee brings to the table this upcoming season. He will undoubtedly have some learning curves but once he puts everything together, he could be a cornerstone at the position for years to come.
Overall, the Jets wisely took a fast, smart and reliable linebacker to address their pass rush. As they are set to face a much tougher schedule this upcoming season, defense wins championships as the Jets will follow suit and do their best to launch a potent defensive unit able to stop anything coming its way.