Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Darron Lee (Ohio State) with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the New York Jets as the number twenty overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets used their first round pick on linebacker Darron Lee out of Ohio State. Here are the top five facts to know about him.
When the New York Jets needed to upgrade their pass rush heading into the offseason, they knew at the 2016 NFL Draft would be the best place to start a new youth movement.
With the twentieth pick, they made an easy decision with Lee as he will bring the necessary speed, aggression and overall defensive skill-set to make the Jets’ pass rush a strength again. Lee has everything needed to truly push the envelope this upcoming season.
Lee comes from Ohio State where he made a name for himself. In his collegiate career, he totaled 146 tackles, 11.0 sacks, three forced fumbles and 27 tackles for loss.
Without further ado, here are the top five facts to know about Lee as he prepares for his rookie season with the Jets.
Next: 5. Lee only played two full seasons at Ohio State
Nov 28, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines safety Jabrill Peppers (5) runs the ball Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Darron Lee (43) moves to defend in the first quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
5. Lee only played two full seasons at Ohio State
That’s right, the aforementioned stats by Lee only came from playing two full years at Ohio State. He was unfortunately injured back in 2013 as a true freshman when he was originally a safety but during his recovery time, made the switch to linebacker. He didn’t miss a single game after that as he was a consistent presence on the Buckeyes’ defense.
Lee is the classic overachiever as he strives to be the very best at everything he does. He knew that by giving it his all during his collegiate career, he would stand out from the rest.
Not only did Lee make a name for himself, he won numerous accolades in a very short amount of time. He impressed his coaches and heads into the NFL ready to translate his collegiate success in the pros.
It’s amazing to see Lee accomplish so much in just a short amount of time but it’s what he’s all about in the grand scheme of things.
Next: 4. Versatility should be his middle name
4. Versatility should be his middle name
Before he was making huge plays with his speed as a premier linebacker for Ohio State, Lee was versatile enough to also play well in other positions. Going back to as early as his high school football career.
His high school football resume boasts him being able to effectively play quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback and even safety. Lee also has experience returning kickoff and punt returns.
Coming out of New Albany high school, Lee was a constant contributor on both offense, defense and even special teams. He loved to overachieve every single time he stepped foot onto the gridiron.
On the Jets, the leadership regime can utilize this versatility well on defense as Lee can literally handle any assignment given to execute to the highest degree.
Next: 3. Size doesn't always matter
Apr 18, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Gray Team running back Bri’onte Dunn (25) is tackled by Ohio State Scarlet Team linebacker Darron Lee (43) during the Ohio State Spring Game at Ohio Stadium. The Gray team won the game 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
3. Size doesn’t always matter
Currently listed at 6’2 and 235 pounds, many believe that his size isn’t good enough to translate into success as Lee begins his journey into the NFL. Size doesn’t always matter when the talent is obviously there.
With his speed and ability to read defenses incredibly well, Lee might not have the ideal size of an NFL linebacker but make no mistake about it, he will be a force to reckon with.
The Jets will more than likely use Lee in many different ways on defense besides keeping him as a linebacker. They could use him in man-to-man coverage as well since he does very good in keeping up with speedy receivers.
Lee will not only be a tackling machine for the Jets but will keep opposing offenses guessing on how to contain him. He’s great at confusing many when it comes to blitzing and stunting on defense.
Next: 2. Starting things off red hot
Sep 13, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Darron Lee (43) tackles Kent State Golden Flashes running back Nick Holley (4) at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 66-0. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
2. Starting things off red hot
If it’s one fact about Lee is that he loves to start things off red hot. Perfect case is his freshman year at Ohio State. Not only did he start every game, but he was named freshman All-American by USA Today.
While also being named the Defensive MVP of the Sugar Bowl against Alabama, Lee knows that if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best right from the start.
It’s not easy having the kind of performance Lee had in his freshman year but if he can do the same in his first season with the Jets, he could very well earn Defensive Rookie of the Year. He’s in a great position to really push the envelope for the Jets.
Expect to see Lee absorb as much as he can from the veterans around him and put everything together in a relatively short amount of time. He’ll not only get off to a red hot start with the Jets but expect him to not miss a beat from his major successes in college.
Next: 1. Track & Field superstar
Apr 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Darron Lee (Ohio State) after being selected by the New York Jets as the number twenty overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
1. Track & Field superstar
During his high school days, Lee was actually spending most of his time with track & field. Back in 2012 in the Ohio State Qualifier Meet, he had a 7.23-second in the 60-meter dash and a 5’10” high jump.
When it came to outdoor track & field, Lee won the 200-meter title by posting a 22.21-second clocking which earned his relay team a gold title at the District Running Event.
It’s no secret that Lee is primarily known for his blazing speed as it makes sense thanks to all the track & field meets he participated in to hone his craft through the years. He will undoubtedly put it to good use in the NFL.
Overall, Lee will be a great addition to the Jets’ defense as he addresses their overall pass rush and so much more. Speed will be the name of his game as he’ll be sure to showcase his skills heading into the regular season.