UPDATE: 4:16 p.m. Arrowhead Time
The Chiefs’ trade for Lee is now official, via the Chiefs’ Twitter account. Lee gets No. 50.
We have acquired LB Darron Lee via trade with the Jets in exchange for a 6th round pick in 2020. pic.twitter.com/SNWD71dRVo— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) May 16, 2019
It did not take long for New York Jets head coach and interim general manager, Adam Gase, to make his first transaction.
Gase taking over was indeed the change that pushed the deal through, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.
Chiefs and Jets had been discussing a Darron Lee deal for a few weeks. Couldn't agree on comp. I'm told Gase indeed did the deal for New York today.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 16, 2019
Old regime wanted a 5th. Upon the change, KC reached out, got him for a 6. https://t.co/OP3m7LwLWa
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
- Fourth-round compensatory
Pro Football Focus (2018)
2018 Basic Statistics for new #Chiefs LB Darron Lee— PFF KC Chiefs (@PFF_Chiefs) May 16, 2019
808 Snaps (423 Coverage, 324 Run D)
58 Tackles, 15 Assists, 9 Missed
32 Defensive Stops
3 Pressures, 0 Sacks
2 Coverage Touchdowns Allowed
3 Pass Breakups
83.4 Passer Rating Againsthttps://t.co/CfgUURZl3f
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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