Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee was selected with the 203rd overall pick in the sixth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday by the Jacksonville Jaguars. With Lee’s selection, a Husker has now been selected in 56 consecutive NFL Drafts dating back to 1963.
Lee is just the second Husker to be drafted by the Jaguars, who joined the National Football League as an expansion team for the 1995 season. The only other Husker to be selected by Jacksonville was linebacker John Hesse, whom the Jaguars selected in the seventh round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He talks about going to Jacksonville.
Lee is the fourth Husker quarterback to be selected in the NFL Draft in the last 20 years joining Jammal Lord (2004), Eric Crouch (2002) and Scott Frost (1998), although Lord, Crouch and Frost all moved to a new position after starring at quarterback for NU. Lee declared for the draft following his junior season at Nebraska last fall and is the fourth Husker early-entrant to be selected in the past four NFL Drafts. He is also the first offensive early-entrant to be drafted since running back Brandon Jackson was taken in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft following his junior season at Nebraska.
A transfer who began his career at Tulane, Lee made the most of his only season as a Husker, throwing for 3,143 yards and 23 touchdowns last fall. A member of the Johnny Unitas Award Watch List, Lee ranked 24th nationally in completions per game (20.5) in 2017 and was second in the Big Ten and 26th nationally in passing yards per game (261.9). His 3,143 passing yards and 23 touchdown passes both ranked third in Nebraska history.
Lee threw for more than 200 yards in 10 of Nebraska’s 12 games last season, including a trio of 300-yard passing days and one 400-yard effort. He threw for a career-high 431 yards at Purdue, the fourth-highest total in school history. His big day helped Nebraska rally from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to tie for the largest fourth-quarter comeback win in school history. On the game-winning 70-yard touchdown drive, Lee completed 7-of-8 passes for 70 yards, including the go-ahead 13-yard touchdown pass to Stanley Morgan Jr. with 14 seconds remaining.
Lee also excelled against the top competition, throwing for 964 (321.3 yards per game) and six touchdowns against only one interception in Nebraska’s three games against teams who finished the year ranked in the top 10 (No. 5 Ohio State, No. 7 Wisconsin and No. 8 Penn State).
Prior to playing his lone season at Nebraska, Lee threw for 3,601 yards and 23 touchdowns over 19 games at Tulane in 2014 and 2015. In his three total seasons as a starting quarterback at the collegiate level, Lee finished with 756 completions for 6,744 yards and 46 touchdowns.