In some general housekeeping Thursday, the Jets waived P T.J. Conley and signed LB Boris Lee, an undrafted free agent out of Troy. The 6’0″ 238 pounder was in the Chargers camp earlier in the year but was released in June. Lee, a four year starter at middle linebacker and three time all Sun Belt selection, was a potential late round pick in April’s draft. At the combine Lee did 27 reps on the bench, with a 4.97 40 and 32.5″ vertical jump. At his pro day he improved his times to 4.83 and 4.89 with a 4.57 short shuttle and 7.33 3 cone drill. He stood on his bench and jumps.
Lee was an extremely productive and durable college player, recording 391 tackles, 32.5 for loss, with 9.5 sacks, 19 passes defensed, eight interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles, scoring three touchdowns on fumble and INT returns. As the leader of Troy’s highly ranked defense Lee never missed a start, playing through a severe case of tonsilitis in 2008. While that may not sound like a big deal, he put off surgery until after the season and it caused his weight to drop as low as 195 lbs. Even with his top-flight productivity he is seen as a marginal prospect at the pro level. Quick rather than fast with good instincts, Lee lacks the extreme athletic ability scouts seek. Despite his physical limitations, he was expected to be a capable special team contributor and backup inside linebacker at the NFL level.
Lee does not have great blitzing skills and tends to be engulfed by blockers if they get their hands on him. He is considered at least adequate in pass coverage with good instincts and timing. While he will hustle and is a very good defender against the run, he tends to overpursue and too many of his tackles are downfield. His tendency to come in out of control and fail to wrap up was often covered by the athleticism of his teammates including LB Bear Woods who is in the Falcons camp. Lee will compete with Cory Reamer, Josh Mauga, Brashton Satele, Tim Knicky and vets Lance Laury and Kenwin Cummings for the last linebacker spots on the roster. Special teams ability will likely be the determining factor. Lee already practiced with the team and while Rex Ryan didn’t appear to remember his name, he joked that Lee has already been “introduced” to John Conner. With Mauga and Satele injured he is expected to play tonight against the Panthers.
T.J. Conley was waived again. This was not his first go around with the team, the punter from Idaho was in camp last year, losing out to veteran Steve Weatherford. That is apparently the case again for 2010, Weatherford is the lone punter remaining on the roster. Conley punted twice in the pre-season opener against the Giants with a 40 yard average and 52 yard long. The team obviously likes Conley and he is the type of player who is unlikely to be scooped up by another team. Unfortunately, this move was not made because a player they like suddenly became available, as Lee appears to have been on the street since being let loose by the Chargers.