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Report: Chiefs acquire linebacker Darron Lee for a 2020 sixth-rounder

A Wednesday night trade alert—Kansas City adds a linebacker to the mix.

New York Jets v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

UPDATE: 4:16 p.m. Arrowhead Time

The Chiefs’ trade for Lee is now official, via the Chiefs’ Twitter account. Lee gets No. 50.

It did not take long for New York Jets head coach and interim general manager, Adam Gase, to make his first transaction.

Gase and the Jets are sending linebacker Darron Lee to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a 2020 sixth-round pick, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Gase taking over was indeed the change that pushed the deal through, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

Lee, 24, is a 6-foot-1, 232-pound linebacker who played college football at Ohio State. Lee first came into the league as the 20th overall pick made by the Jets in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Coming out of college, Lee posted tremendous measurables at the NFL Scouting Combine, including a blazing 4.43-second 40-yard dash. Friend-of-the-site Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports graded Lee with a first-round grade back when he was still writing for The Kansas City Star.

In three seasons with the Jets, Lee started 36 games, mostly at inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He compiled 238 tackles (152 solo), 17 tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hits, 4.0 sacks, 11 passes defensed, three interceptions and one for a touchdown over that span. All three of Lee’s interceptions came in 2018.

It appears that when it comes to former first and second-round picks becoming available, Chiefs general manager Brett Veach can’t help himself. Add Lee to the list of names like Frank Clark, Reggie Ragland and Cam Erving, who Veach acquired in trades, as well as Sammy Watkins, who he acquired in the free agency market.

According to Nate Taylor of The Athletic, Lee should compete for the starting weak-side linebacker role against the likes of Dorian O’Daniel and Anthony Hitchens. How names like Ragland and Damien Wilson fit in that spot remain to be seen.

Similar to the players of this year’s draft class, Lee comes to the Chiefs healthy. Our own in-house medical expert Aaron Borgmann reports Lee has missed only three career games in three seasons, but he was suspended four games last year due to the league’s substance abuse policy.

Now that the Chiefs have traded their 2020 sixth-round pick, the Chiefs have six picks remaining for 2020—that would be the same number of picks the Chiefs wound up using in this year’s draft.

2020 draft picks

- First-rounder

- Second-rounder (San Francisco 49ers’ pick or own selection; whichever pick is in a worse position goes to the Seattle Seahawks)

- Third-rounder

- Fourth-rounder

- Fourth-round compensatory

- Fifth-rounder

Pro Football Focus (2018)

Highlights (Ohio State)

Here are some highlights we found of Lee from his time at Ohio State (no Jets highlights were readily available):


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