Darren Lee   LB/S   Ohio St

STRENGTHS
Darren is a smart, athletic football player. When he anticipates a play, he is able to impact and create turnovers. Darren shows some leadership skills through his football intelligence and has the respect of his teammates and coaches. Darren works well attacking the line of scrimmage and defending in the passing game. He has the speed you look for that allows him to come from off the line of scrimmage and still disrupt a play behind the line of scrimmage. Darren shows on film the quick twitch and feet to impact as a cover linebacker/safety. He shows the football intelligence to be a coach on the field and there is no doubt in my mind that used in the right system, Darren can become a core player for the team that selects him.

CONCERNS
As a Linebacker, Darren lacks the stoutness against the run and the shed and tackle skills that you need to have to an impact in that position at the next level. He is what I would call a finesse linebacker who would need to run free to the play to impact. He also is a sloppy tackler although in the open field he does much better tackling because he knows he must make a sure tackle. Darren can make impact plays, but most of those plays are because of the play call or scheme that he is in at the time.

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2
Playing your position and playing it well is not a negative; itís a positive. Nevertheless, playing a position at the college level well because youíre a good athlete does not mean you will play that same position well at the next level. I donít think Darren is a linebacker for the next level. I think he is a safety or defensive back. He tackles like a defensive back; he covers like a defensive back. He comes from off the line of scrimmage to sack a quarterback like a defensive back. Everything in his play is more aligned to the defensive back position and not the linebacker position. When he is up near the line of scrimmage in run support, well, letís just say that run support is not very supported. Can Darren be an impact player? The answer to that is, in the right scheme and position yes, but if poor coaching and in the wrong defensive scheme (one that keeps him close to the line of scrimmage), you better make sure he can run free or he will be swallowed up real easily. I like his cover skills and I think he can be an asset covering those big receivers in the slot because of his long arms, legs, quick feet and overall agility. He tackles well in the open field, so to me, he fits as a safety. Keep him at linebacker and you better make sure he is free to the play and will improve his tackling or you will be looking at an athletic player who will lack the impact his athletic talents suggest heís capable of.

Drew Boylhart  FEB.2016