Jets believe Darron Lee is seeing things faster in third season

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The Jets took defensive players in the first round of the draft every year from 2010 to 2017 and the results have been a mixed bag.

Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson starred for a time, but are no longer with the team. Quinton Coples, Dee Milliner and Calvin Pryor never lived up to expectations and the final verdict is still out on recent picks Leonard Williams and Jamal Adams. Linebacker Darron Lee, the top pick in 2016, falls into that final group as well, although his first impressions haven’t been quite as positive.

He had a rough rookie season as he transitioned to inside linebacker, but looked more comfortable as the 2017 season progressed. There’s still more work to be done in pass coverage, but the 23-year-old will be calling the defensive signals for the Jets this season and linebackers coach Mike Caldwell believes things are falling into place.

“He can be as good as he wants to be,” Caldwell said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “He has all the tools. He’s getting better by being able to see things faster. His eyes are better. He’s just learning the game. Coming from college, it took him a while to understand the professional game. He’s done a good job of finding his niche.”

The Jets spent big on cornerback Trumaine Johnson and linebacker Avery Williamson in free agency. If Lee can take the strides that Caldwell thinks are possible while Williams and Adams continue to grow as players, unlocking the Jets defense should be a thornier task for opponents this time around.

11 responses to “Jets believe Darron Lee is seeing things faster in third season

  1. The speed he was known for coming out college now needs to become / equal consistent production over a 16 game season.

  2. Linebackers that are going to be special don’t have a steep learning curve. They’re good from the start.

  3. redlikethepig says:
    July 2, 2018 at 8:37 am
    Linebackers that are going to be special don’t have a steep learning curve. They’re good from the start.


    Darrin Lee, Leonard Williuams, and keep any eye on Adams at Safety. The Jets hype the living daylights out of anyone they pick in Rd 1, and they’re always picking in the top 15. It’s just amazing how they keep picking immature, low IQ players that peaked in college.

    They just continue to do it.

  4. Lee really improved last year, no reason to think he won’t this year.

    Williams is a stud and the Adams/Maye duo was promising.

    With the signings of Johnson and Williamson, the Jets defense should be a force this year.

  5. Darron Lee has gone from pretty bad to bad with some flashes of good play.
    Maybe his third year he’ll improve enough to be considered a near average LB.
    Certainly not what you hope for with a 1st round pick, but if he can become an average starter after 3-4 years it’s not a bust, just a disappointment.

  6. I hated the Darron Lee pick and I still cringe at some of the things that come out of his mouth.
    That said, the guy improved big time last year – in fact, there were times in the second half of the season that I shockingly thought to myself “Darron Lee was the best player on on defense today”.
    The Jets are slowly starting to put things together.
    This year will likely be another year of growing/maturing and I think next season we will be talking about them making some noise in the AFC.

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