As 49ers.com runs down the list of top prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft, we continue our "Meet the Prospect" series with Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee.The Basics
Lee entered Ohio State's starting lineup in 2014 with big shoes to fill. Then a redshirt freshman, the linebacker claimed current Pittsburgh Steelers star Ryan Shazier's role as the anchor of the Buckeyes defense. Lee posted 16 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks that season and earned freshman All-American honors. In 2015, Lee added 11 tackles for loss and 4.5 more sacks. Lee's brief, two-year playing career at Ohio State saw him score three defensive touchdowns.
An impressive showing at the NFL Scouting Combine cemented Lee's place in the first round. The linebacker is viewed by draft experts as one of the best athletes in this year's class, and Lee could be the second linebacker taken behind UCLA's Myles Jack.Measurables
Arm length: 33 1/4 inches
Hand Size: 9 3/4 inchesNFL.com Pro Comparison
Tennessee Titans linebacker Zach Brown.Best College Game
Lee was at his best when the stage was biggest. In the first ever College Football Playoff in 2014, a semifinal game against Alabama, Lee recorded seven tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. Lee was named the game's Defensive MVP in Ohio State's upset over the top-ranked Crimson Tide.
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah raved about Lee's performance when he spoke to 49ers.com at February's combine.
"That game, to me, was the biggest collection of NFL players on one field that I've seen in quite some time," Jeremiah said. "When you have Ohio State, with all of their prospects, and Alabama, with (wide receiver) Amari Cooper, (running back) T.J. Yeldon and their prospects from this year, Lee stood out above everybody else. I think he's gonna be a superstar."Combine Statistics
40-yard dash: 4.47 seconds
Bench Press: 17 reps
Vertical jump: 35.5 inches
Broad jump: 133 inches
3 cone drill: 7.12 secondsMock Draft Connections
ESPN's Todd McShay – No. 17 overall (Atlanta Falcons)
NFL Media's Charles Davis – No. 17 overall pick (Falcons)
NFL Media's Jeremiah – No. 27 overall pick (Green Bay Packers)What the Media is Saying…
"Above-average range, speed and athleticism. Unlocks his hips to instantly accelerate and close. Makes himself skinny and shoots through gaps on the line of scrimmage. Needs to do it more consistently, but flashes violence in his hands to punch, lock out and keep himself free from blocks." – CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler
"Lee is a true sideline-to-sideline defender who displays a good combination of athleticism, range and versatility. With 27.5 tackles for loss during the past two seasons, Lee has a nose for the ball and shows a knack for making big plays. He is quick to diagnose against the run and has elite speed for the position. With the ability to match up in coverage and play in space, Lee fits today's NFL extremely well." – ESPN’s Todd McShayFun Fact
In high school, Lee starred at quarterback and defensive back for New Albany High School in New Albany, Ohio.Must-see Video
Lee ran a faster 40-yard dash than the reigning Super Bowl MVP, Von Miller (4.53 seconds in 2011) at the combine. The NFL put together a simulcam of both players running in Indianapolis.Social Spotlight