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The NFL Draft for the New York Jets, once again, is all about the defense.
This was the eighth straight year a defensive player’s name has been called by the NFL Commissioner as the latest addition to Gang Green.
The Jets, with the 20th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, selected Darron Lee, linebacker out of Ohio State.
It was the first time since 2011 the Jets had to pick 20th or later in the first round, the pick that year was Muhammad Wilkerson.
Lee was a bit of a surprise pick by the Jets in a draft which became unpredictable after the first two selections.
Once the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles took quarterbacks Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, respectively, off the board, it was a complete guessing game for the remainder of the first round.
The Jets love to go defense in the first round of their drafts, and it is a major reason why it’s become the backbone of their team.
Lee, at 6’1, 232 pounds, doesn’t appear to be an ideal fit in a 3-4 defense. What Lee does bring to the table for Jets head coach Todd Bowles is speed, as he ran a 4.47 in the 40 at the NFL Combine.
The draft board, for the Jets at 20, still had linebacker Myles Jack and intriguing quarterback Paxton Lynch on it.
Lee’s selection is a clear indication of how determined the Jets are to get younger and faster on defense, specifically the linebackers. Lee will most likely see some time in the nickel defense and get to show off his ability to play in coverage.
The knock on Lee is that he’s cocky. His swagger, however, could very well prove to be a plus for the Jets depending on how he adapts to the pro game.
The Jets know they possess on of the league’s top defensive units, there’s a swagger that must come with that. If Lee can find a healthy balance of self-confidence along with continued development, he’ll fit right in.
The Jets will now look towards the second round, where they’ll pick 20th (51st overall). This could be where they enter the mix for bringing in a quarterback.