Darron Lee has a lot on his plate and understandably so. The 2016 first-round draft pick of the New York Jets is working to earn the respect of his coaches and players during his first NFL training camp.
Lee, an inside linebacker out of Ohio State University, is looking to get in where he fits in for Jets head coach Todd Bowles. Erin Henderson has already been tabbed by Bowles with the starting job, Lee will have to earn playing time in an assortment of defensive packages until the team has seen enough to perhaps consider him for more.
It’s still early in training camp, however, Lee appears to be doing his best to impress Bowles and the Jets coaching staff.
“Well, he’s making great progress,” said Bowles. “We’re not looking at him for just the nickel. He has got to learn his linebacker stuff too on first, second down. We said Erin [Henderson} was the starter going in, you’ve got to take somebody’s spot more or less if they have a spot. So, he’s working at it right now, and we’ve got four games to see how he progresses.”
Henderson is now in his second year with the Jets, he’s a nine-year veteran. When Demario Davis signed with the Cleveland Browns, in the offseason, the Jets turned to Henderson as their choice to start at inside linebacker. This will be Henderson’s first starting assignment since playing for the Minnesota Vikings.
Lee will bring quickness, and his ability to drop back into coverage, to a defense which needed an injection of youth and speed.
While Henderson is working on getting the nuances down for his starting assignment, alongside middle linebacker David Harris, Lee must continue to show Bowles he’s ready for a heavier workload when his number’s called.