Forget the Pro Bowl. Darron Lee has an even bigger goal entering this season.
Lee, who was the Jets' first-rounder back in 2016, hasn't been consistent in his dominant play to date. There have been times when Lee displays why the Jets took him in the first round, and others that question that pick.
But Lee is looking to change this narrative in 2018.
"Absolutely trying to make the Pro Bowl, and have a hell of a year, be All-Pro," Lee told NJ.com's Darryl Slater. "I'm not trying to be just some regular linebacker here. I'm trying to be the best, one of the best. That's why I'm here."
Lee wants to improve his all-around play this season to get the recognition he desires, and that includes covering receivers. HIs pass coverage was slightly improved in 2017 compared to his rookie season, but he wants more.
Getting his first career interception is what he has in mind.
"I've got to get some picks," Lee said. "That's going to be my main focus this year. I definitely had a way better second year. I think I've used those first two years to just absorb what I could do better. Now, I can really, really hone in."
Though Lee saw improvement in his pass coverage last season, the stats would say otherwise. According to Pro Football Focus, Lee ranked 74th out of 77 linebackers in pass coverage with a grade of 36.8. They tracked him giving up a catch on 72.5 percent of passes thrown his way as well as three touchdowns and 570 yards. Lee, though, said that he allowed just one touchdown.
Either way, Lee is looking to improve his play as well as his leadership qualities. WIth Demario Davis lost to the Saints in free agency, the Ohio State product will likely receive a bigger leadership role next season.
And he has already been more vocal, as he was heard bellowing pre-snap calls to the defense during the Jets' spring practices. He says the coaching staff wants to see that from him.
"That's exactly what they want me to do," Lee said. "I was vocal last year, but it was hard, because Demario had been here before. So it was kind of hard to really do that, because he already knew it. But I was still vocal out there. I already am more vocal [this year]. It's already been put into action."
In the end, Lee realizes that his team has to win if he wishes to make the Pro Bowl or receive that All-Pro bid. No matter how good a player's season is, more recognition comes to players on a winning team.
So, with his goals in mind, Lee is going to do his best to help the Jets win and hopefully make consistency part of his narrative moving forward.