When he was at Penn State, LB Sean Lee tore his right ACL during a noncontact drill in the spring and missed the 2008 season to rehab. The injury and missed year raised concerns when it came to his NFL draft stock heading into the 2009 season. One of the most instinctive linebackers I have ever seen on tape, Lee eased those concerns with a strong showing his senior year, and the Cowboys thought enough of his tape to take him in the second round in 2010. Though he’s coming off a season-ending toe injury, Lee has started 21 games over the past two seasons, and he has been a difference-maker when he’s been on the field.
Every season, there are draft-eligible prospects who miss all or most of the previous year and cloud their NFL futures. And it’s not always because of an injury. NCAA transfer rules and suspensions come into play as well. While injuries raise concerns about durability, suspensions raise character concerns and transfers raise their own set of questions, though not always serious ones. There’s also the matter of there being less tape for evaluators to watch.
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