Cornerback Patrick Lee is a fifth-year senior from Auburn University. Lee is a big cornerback at 6-foot, 200 pounds and carried a reputation for being a smart, tough and fast player in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). He hopes to bring these traits to the National Football League in 2008.
Lee is a Miami, Fla., native that attended Columbia High School in Miami. He started two years at safety in high school and made numerous Florida all-star teams. Lee also won the Florida state title in the long jump as a senior.
After being redshirted by Auburn in 2003, Lee played in 12 games and had 14 tackles during his freshman year. In 2005, Lee played in 11 games (starting five) and recorded nine tackles. During the 2006 season, Lee played in all 13 games and started four. He ended the year with six passes defensed and 25 tackles to go along with his first interception at Auburn. In 2007, Lee started 12 games, had four interceptions and 55 tackles while also returning kickoffs for the Tigers.
Lee has very good speed for his size, running a solid 4.41 40-yard dash at the 2008 NFL Scouting Combine. He is a tough player that fared well in the highly competitive SEC. The fact that he didn't start until his senior year is also a bit misleading as the team preferred him in the role of nickel back because they ask that spot to make the on-field adjustments, a role they felt he was well-suited for.
He is strong and tough at the line of scrimmage, playing tight coverage and making it difficult for opposing receivers to get a clean release off the line of scrimmage. Lee also wraps up well and is a solid tackler.
Lee played on special teams at Auburn and can add value to a NFL team as an excellent gunner while he learns to play defensive back at the professional level.
Lee is pretty raw having not played a ton in college and needs some work to become a professional cornerback. Although he does jam receivers at the line of scrimmage well, Lee will have to improve his technique and consistency as right now he relies too much on his athleticism.
Lee also seems to lack some of the natural instincts of top-level cornerback at the professional level, giving receivers too much cushion and not playing the ball that well. He had just one interception during his first three years and isn't much of a ball hawk despite his four picks in 2007.
Expected Draft Placement
Lee has the ability to become a productive corner in the NFL if he is given some time to learn. He proved he could compete at a high level in the rough and tumble SEC during the 2007 season, which definitely has upped his draft status. Lee's special teams skills may initially be the tipping point that gets him on an NFL roster.
Lee could go as early as late in the second round, but more than likely he should be selected in the third or fourth rounds of this year's draft.
About Karl Hall
Karl Hall has been a KFFL contributor since 2007.
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