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Washington Redskins 2016 Draft Profiles: Darron Lee, LB

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2016 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins.

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Darron Lee
School: THE Ohio State University | Conference: Big 10
Experience: Sophomore | Age: 21
Height/Weight: 6’1" / 232 lbs
pSPARQ: 140.1 / NFL %: 92.3
Projected Draft Status: Late 1st - 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Zach Brown


College Statistics

Player Overview
Darron Lee is heralded as a new-age linebacker. Lee is fast enough and athletic enough to do well in coverage, and strong enough to shed blockers and set the edge. He doesn’t shrink from a big stage either, as Lee claimed Defensive MVP honors in the Buckeyes’ national championship victory his freshman year. However, Lee needs to pack on some muscle to be an effective linebacker at the NFL level. His speed allowed him to disentangle himself from offensive linemen, but his athletic edge will be slimmer in the pros. Too often he was unable to shed blocks and make plays despite good hand technique. While Lee played LB at a high level in college, I couldn’t help but think that he played more like a strong, or even a free, safety. Kind of the reverse of Deone Buchannon. While Buchannon plays and hits well beyond his listed weight of 208 lbs, Lee seeks and makes contact less than a first-round NFL linebacker prospect should.

Strengths

  • Great speed
  • Uses hands well
  • Ably covered FBS slot receivers
  • Willing to take on blockers

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t play to his size
  • Needs to gain weight without losing athleticism
  • Needs to be more aggressive

Skimming through the hype...





How He’d Fit With the Redskins

Lee right now is a little too reminiscent of Keenan Robinson for the likes of most Washington fans. At this point, he’s a smaller middle linebacker who has a tendency to not deliver the blow to oncoming blockers or ball carriers. But he’s also a more-than-able coverage linebacker (with much more speed than Robinson) who could play well in a nickel or dime package, as well as on special teams. He’d provide Joe Barry some more positional flexibility in pass rush situations, which is never a bad thing. It remains to be seen whether Lee can retain his speed and athleticism as he adds muscle. Lee has a lanky frame and looks like he could fill out another 20 lbs (which is marginally insane to say about a 6’1" 230 lb man in any context other than the NFL). Once he adds that weight we’ll know how illustrious and/or long a professional career Lee will have.