Linebacker, Ohio State 6ft 1in – 232lbs
|40yd dash: 4.47s||Bench Press: 17 reps|
|Vertical Jump: 35.5in||3 Cone Drill: 7.12s|
|Broad Jump: 11ft 1in||20yd Shuttle: 4.2s|
Ohio State is one of the premier NCAA programs in the country and they have been for years. They have one of the best coaches in college football, they won the inaugural College Football Playoff, they regularly pull in one the better recruiting classes and they always seem to have many players drafted and make impacts. That will certainly not change as they have 4-6 potential first round picks, one of which is linebacker Darron Lee. In the 2013/2014 season, Lee redshirted his freshman year, and star Buckeyes LB Ryan Shazier was the center-piece of their defense. He went on to be picked in the first round and is becoming one of the better LB’s in the NFL. Lee proclaimed to teammates that he would fill those shoes; and boy, did he. The year the Buckeyes won the National Championship, Ohio State beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl to get there. That game was loaded with talent, and Lee stood out – as a redshirt freshman. In fact, he won Defensive MVP in that game with 7 tackles, 3 for loss and two sacks. He is uber athletic and almost looks a like a big safety playing in the box. He has excellent play recognition and pursuit, which is a big reason for his tackle for loss numbers. Furthermore, he is excellent in coverage. He has good feet and moves very well in space, and can match up in man coverage. He is an effective blitzer too. He projects very well as a weakside LB in a 4-3 defense and will be an every down player. Deone Bucannon is the face of the hybrid safety/linebacker position, and his success with the Cardinals makes Lee an incredibly attractive prospect. Though he will just play linebacker, he has similar skills but is a better build for the position than Bucannon. As a result, several teams have shown interest. He has had meetings with 8 teams (SF, CHI, BUF, CLE, ATL, NOS, TEN, MIN), 3 private meetings (CHI, BUF, MIN) and 2 workouts (TEN, ATL). As I mentioned before, Lee’s best fit would be as a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, but he could fit nicely as a middle backer in a 3-4 scheme. Due to that, I think the Falcons are the best spot for Lee and luckily for them, they seem to be in the right spot to pick him up. The Falcons have to improve their pass defense and they need some help in the LB room, Lee would help with both of those things and he really should be their number 1 target. Other than the Falcons, I would quite like to see Lee with the Vikings. Can you imagine a LB trio of Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and Darron Lee? That would easily be one of the more intimidating units and one of the most promising position groups in the NFL.