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Darron Lee’s Combine numbers will grab attention


during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Streeter Lecka

Former Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee used the NFL Scouting Combine to show off his freakish athleticism, and probably to continue what’s been a meteoric rise through the football world.

At 6-foot-1 and 232 pounds, Lee isn’t for everyone and probably will have to be a 4-3 weakside linbebacker. But with a 40-yard dash time of 4.43 and solid numbers in the Combine’s other drills that measure athleticism, there’s plenty of reason to think a guy who’s really only been a linebacker for a short time can continue to develop.

Lee’s 40-yard dash time was the fastest by a linebacker at the Scouting Combine in almost a decade and was faster than all but six of this year’s wide receivers who worked out Saturday. He also had a broad jump of 11-feet, 1-inch, a vertical jump of better than 35 inches and a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.2 seconds, third-best among linebackers.

While most of Ohio State’s nine early draft entries were blue-chip recruits who lived up to their billing, Lee was an off-the-radar recruit who Urban Meyer had to be persuaded to take. Even two months before enrolling at Ohio State, Lee was playing quarterback, running back and safety in Ohio’s annual North-South All-Star Game for graduating high school seniors.

After redshirting in 2013, Lee had 81 tackles and 7.5 sacks for Ohio State’s 2014 national championship team. He had 66 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season.

Josh Norris of RotoWorld rated Lee as the No. 19 prospect in this draft before the Scouting Combine. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah listed Lee at No. 11 on his pre-Combine Top 50.