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Washington Redskins 2017 Draft Profiles: Elijah Lee, LB

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2017 NFL prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Kansas State Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Elijah Lee, LB
School: Kansas State | Conference: BIG-12
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21?
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 228 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd or 4th Round
NFL Comparison: Christian Kirksey

College Statistics

Player Overview

Elijah Lee was one of the best defenders in the BIG-12 this past season. He’s an athletic rangy linebacker with sideline to sideline ability. Lee was used as both an inside and outside linebacker while as Kansas State and the answer as to whether he should be used inside or outside will likely differ on the team evaluating him. Lee can make plays from either position. I hesitate to project him as an edge rushing LB in the NFL because his strengths don’t really lie in beating offensive tackles off the edge with his speed or pass rush moves. Lee does excel as a run defender plugging gaps and using his athleticism to shoot through them and make a play. Lee didn’t get a combine invite but he has said his offseason focus is to put on weight and show his athletic ability.

Strengths

  • Quickness, length, and athletic ability show when he can exploit offensive gaps.
  • Good in pursuit and has the speed and acceleration to play sideline to sideline.
  • Physical and will put a lick on an opponent given the opportunity.
  • Has the athleticism to drop back into coverage and enough ability to deter throws in his direction.

Weaknesses

  • Needs to add weight and strength. He is too easily moved from his spot if he doesn't win with initial quickness.
  • Needs pop in his hands when fighting blocks. He often times becomes too stagnant and complacent. Relies too much on his length and arm tackles instead of squaring up.
  • Vision is there but the trust isn’t. You can see when he second guesses his movements instead of going for it.
  • Not helped by his height but the ever present pad level issue rears its ugly head when trying to fight through the middle.

Let’s see his work:

How He Would Fit On The Redskins

Elijah Lee is an intriguing player that you could play outside or inside but as I’m noticing with most of this year’s mid-round linebackers he has some issues that need to be corrected before he can be thrust out into a starting role. For Lee, it starts with filling out his frame as much as he can without affecting his athleticism. Not only does Lee need to add muscle mass he needs to add strength. I think a lot of Lee’s subsequent issues actually stem from that physical standpoint. I think he has the potential to be a scheme fit especially with the amount of Nickel the Redskins run. He is an interesting developmental linebacker for sure but I’m not sure the Redskins need to go through the process of getting a guy ready physically and then fundamentally only for him to end up being a slight improvement over what the team currently has. I think Lee gets drafted late day 3 early day three and makes a team with his special teams ability.