Tanner Lee was Nebraska’s starting quarterback for one season, filling the job in 2017. Lee completed better than 57 percent of his passes last season and threw for 3,143 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Lee could have played one final season for the Huskers in 2018 after being granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, but he opted to declare for the NFL draft. Lee was given the opportunity to play in the Senior Bowl after Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph was injured. While his Senior Bowl performance left something to be desired, his NFL combine results helped make up some ground.
NFL combine results
|40-yard dash||Vertical jump||Broad jump||3-cone drill||20-yard shuttle|
|4.98 seconds||32.0 inches||115.0 inches||7.0 seconds||4.41 second|
Lee’s NFL combine performance highlighted a quarterback who not only is experienced working under center, but a player with NFL size and solid arm strength. His downside is his career touchdown and interception totals (46, 37).
Regardless of his interception issues, Lee is expected to be drafted and to make it to an NFL training camp.
It wasn’t a typical journey for Lee, but here is his path to the NFL draft.
Lee’s collegiate football career began at Tulane, where he made 19 starts in 2014 and 2015. After redshirting in 2013, Lee made his debut in 2014, throwing for 1,639 yards and 11 touchdowns. Lee started all 10 of his games as a redshirt freshman in 2014, completing 18 of 336 passes for 1,962 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Prior to Tulane, Lee was a three-year letterman at Jesuit High School in Destrehan, La. As a senior, Lee completed 118 of 218 passes for 2,364 yards and 25 touchdowns. He was ranked among the top 60 quarterbacks in the country by several recruiting services and was considered one of the top 50 players in Louisiana.
After Tulane, Lee transferred to Nebraska but had to sit out the 2016 season due to NCAA transfer rules. He was granted a waiver by the NCAA that gave him one additional season of eligibility. During his year on the scout team, he was selected as Nebraska’s Scout Team Offensive MVP.
Lee won the starting job at quarterback during the spring of 2017. As a junior, he completed 57.5 percent of his passes and threw for 3,143 yards and 23 touchdowns. Lee’s 3,143 passing yards were the most by a first-year Huskers quarterback. That total also marked the most passing yards in a 12-game season in Huskers history and ranked third overall in school history. His 23 touchdowns also put him in the record books, ranking third in Nebraska history.
After making the decision to forgo his final season with Nebraska, Lee participated in the Senior Bowl and NFL combine. While the Senior Bowl wasn’t one of his better performances, Lee was adamant that he’s an NFL-caliber quarterback.
“I think I have a skill set that’s ready for the NFL,” Lee told Land of 10 after the Senior Bowl. “I’ve played a ton of college football and learned a lot of offense. I’ve been in many leadership positions on my teams. I’ve been a three-time captain, and I think I’m ready to take that next step in my career. I’m just chasing success and chasing my dream, and this is the next step.”
Lee’s journey hasn’t been conventional, but he’s now on the verge of the next step of his career.