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Jets 2017 Roster Breakdown: Can Darron Lee Improve in His Second Season?

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Our Jets roster breakdown turns it attention to Darron Lee.

Name: Darron Lee

Number: 50

Year with Jets: 2nd

Projected Role: Starting linebacker who never comes off the field

His 2016: It felt like the Jets’ initial plan was to bring Lee along slowly, but Erin Henderson’s early struggles and then departure from the team gave Lee an expanded role as a rookie. While the first round pick did record 73 tackles, there were plenty of rookie moments. There were many instances where he was overly aggressive and missed his assignment as a result. He also got picked on in coverage. None of this was overly shocking. Lee was new to his role, and the original plan did not seem to involve him playing so much so soon. Lee was also close to making a number of plays that went against him. Perhaps with a year under his belt, he will make some of them. Still, you are either helping or hurting the cause. As a rookie, Lee hurt the cause more frequently than he helped it.

2017 will be a success if: Lee becomes a high end starting linebacker. That would require a leap, but the Jets took him in the first round because they felt he was capable of getting there. The NFL has become a league of versatile players on offense to create mismatches. The player Lee is supposed to become can be a big help combating that. As mentioned above, Lee was close to making a stop on a number of the big plays that fell into his area of responsibility in coverage and against the run. With a full offseason of work, things will either click or they won’t. A year from now, we should have a good handle as to whether Lee has star potential or whether he will be the next Jets first round disappointment.

Odds of making the roster: Lock (>99%)