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2015 NFL DRAFT
player photo

Xavier Lee

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 232 | College: Florida State
 
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Overview

Few quarterbacks have the arm strength that Lee possesses, but his athletic ability turned out to be a bit of a curse at Florida State. With the staff committing to another quarterback with athletic skills much less than Lee's, it made for a trying career with the Seminoles that spanned 19 games and six starting assignments over three years.

With Lee's combination of size, arm strength and foot quickness, many scouts are quietly encouraging their organizations to take a long, hard look at his talent. FSU decided that his athletic ability would be better served at another position for the 2008 season and told the quarterback that they wanted to shift him to tight end.

Lee decided enough was enough and left the university, where he had been one of 36 athletes on the team who were ruled ineligible for the 2007 Music City Bowl, thanks to their part in a university-wide academic cheating scandal. "I'm just trying to show people what I can really do," Lee said, in his first public comments since leaving FSU. "Right now, I'm not down at all, I'm not worried about anything. I've got a bright future ahead of me."

While saying he had no hard feelings toward Florida State, Lee addressed some of the issues that have come up recently. He said he was a little bothered by the Seminoles' coaching staff benching him only three games after giving him the starting nod last season, but Lee took some responsibility for the move. "I didn't help too much with how I played, but that's all in the past now," Lee said.

The nation's top recruit in 2005 also said, "I had high hopes when I went there, but things didn't work the way I wanted to. Honestly, I'm pretty glad all the controversy (at FSU) is behind me now." Lee was told by professional scouts that most saw him as an "athlete" at the next level, not a signal-caller. Lee also said he's leaving his options open, including playing in the Canadian Football League. "Right now I can't be that picky. I'm unemployed without a college degree," Lee said. "I still have my eyes on the (NFL) prize."

At Seabreeze High School, Lee was rated a five-star player by Rivals.com and the top-rated dual threat quarterback in the nation. He was named to the Super Prep Elite 50 and Prep Star Top 100 Dream team. He holds Florida's all-time record for passing yards (9,082), completions (549) and touchdowns (98) in a career and was named Florida's Mr. Football for 2003. He also earned All-State first-team and Class 3A Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season.

In 10 games during the 2003 season, Lee rushed for 567 yards on 104 carries with 10 touchdowns. He was 198-for-361 (54 percent) for 3,133 yards, 37 touchdowns and only seven interceptions passing, earning All-State first-team accolades as a junior and was named 3A Player of the Year for the first of two times during his career. He also rushed for 461 yards and 13 touchdowns and was 188-for-304 (62 percent) passing for 3,075 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a senior. He was a member of the East Squad in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl played in January, 2004 in San Antonio, Texas.

Florida State won a fierce recruiting battle for Lee's services, where he enrolled and red-shirted as a 6-4, 200-pound quarterback in 2004. His body continued to mature, as he arrived for 2005 fall drills bulked up to 227 pounds. He appeared briefly in seven games that year, completing 27-of-57 passes (47.4 percent) for 466 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also generated 36 yards and a pair of scores on 14 carries (2.6 avg).

As a sophomore, Lee's frame grew to 235 pounds. He participated in eight games, starting vs. Maryland, Virginia and Wake Forest. He amassed 969 yards in total offense, as he rushed for 84 yards on 23 attempts (3.7 avg). He also passed for 885 yards on 62-of-121 throws (51.2 percent) that included seven touchdowns and five interceptions.

Before being ruled ineligible for postseason play in 2007, Lee played in four games, starting vs. North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Miami. He connected on 66-of-124 passes (53.2 percent) for 972 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions. He carried the ball 43 times for 97 yards (2.3 avg) while scoring three times on the ground.

Analysis

Positives: Has a big frame with good upper body muscular development … Has a low body fat count (6.7 percent), long arms with tapered thighs and calves, thick ankles, tight waist and hips and room on his frame to add more bulk for a potential position shift (some teams are looking at him as a tight end/H-Back and strong safety) … Quick-footed passer who shows good balance and a quick over the top release and can also execute crisp passes with a three-quarter delivery … Gets a good push from the line of scrimmage and is good at getting the ball through the throwing arc … Shows very good foot agility in his drop to get to his throwing point and uncorks the deep ball with touch and accuracy, putting very good zip on his throws to fire it through tight areas … Makes decent checks at the line and has the ability read defenses, scan the field and find his secondary targets … Shows decent judgment on route progression reads, but will sometimes get impatient and force the ball into coverage … Displays fine poise in the pocket and has the presence to stand tall under the rush … Needs to maintain his poise in the pocket, but he does a good job of sliding away from pressure to buy time for his receivers downfield … Can drop the ball over the top of defenders on flare routes and demonstrates good touch on screens, putting power behind his tosses on slants and hitches … Vocal leader who can air out the ball going deep and steps up to buy time when his targets are covered … Locates his secondary receivers and has the agility to avoid and scramble while throwing n the run … Squares his shoulders on delivery … Very strong and hard to take down when running with the ball, showing good change of direction.

Negatives: Sometimes gets too over-confident with his arm strength and while he can fire the ball into tight areas, he needs to vary the speed on those tosses, as they are not always easy to catch (receivers have to adjust in the routes when he gets "happy feet" and throws on the move) … Good open-field runner, but carries the ball too low, which could lead to costly fumbles and slow down his delivery … Makes receivers work for the ball too much on long tosses, as he tends to put too much air behind the ball, letting it hang … Needs to work on setting his feet and stepping into his throws better … Has good timing, but when the pocket collapses, he tends to make questionable decisions, throwing the ball into traffic to risk an interception … Does not always square his shoulders properly when running (does so on his delivery, though) … When he gets a little too high with his delivery, it slows down his release time … Needs to mature off the field (failed to attend classes last year, was suspended for two games in October because of it and then ruled ineligible to play in the Music City Bowl as part of the 36 athletes involved in the school's academic cheating scandal).

Compares To: TONY BANKS-ex-St Louis/Houston/Baltimore … Like Banks, Lee's athletic ability far surpasses his production. He is the type of quarterback who needs a very patient coach, as his three years at Florida State actually hampered his progress. There are enough skills to turn him into an efficient quarterback, and outside of Delaware's Joe Flacco nobody has the big arm Lee possesses. Some teams are looking at possibly moving him to tight end or safety, but the learning curve and time a team would have to invest in him to make that move might not be beneficial in an age where a player can leave via free agency while still young in their careers. He might have to do a Warren Moon and take his wares to the Canadian Football League, hoping to show an NFL team that he can develop into a pro quarterback.

Career Notes

Lee played in 19 games at Florida State, starting six contests, as he completed 155-of-302 passes (51.3 percent) for 2,323 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions … Had 80 carries for 217 yards (2.7 avg) and five scores, adding one solo tackle.

2007 Season

Named the team's most dependable quarterback by the coaching staff following an impressive spring in a new offensive system … The Sporting News rated Lee as having the strongest throwing arm in the Atlantic Coast Conference … Played in four games, starting vs. North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Miami … Was suspended for two games (Duke and Boston College) in late October for failure to attend classes and was later ruled ineligible to play vs. Kentucky in the Music City Bowl … Finished with 972 yards on 66-of-124 passes (53.2%), including five touchdowns and five interceptions … Ranked fifth on the team with 43 carries for 97 yards (2.3 avg), including three scores … Also recorded one solo tackle … Gained 1,069 yards in total offense, an average of 267.2 yards per game.

2007 Game Analysis

Alabama … Came off the bench to hit on 12-of-19 attempts for 224 yards, an interception and two touchdowns … Also gained 59 yards on eleven carries … Hit receiver De'Cody Fagg with a third quarter 7-yard scoring pass that ended a 67-yard, 8-play series … Connected with Fagg on a 70-yard game-winning touchdown toss with 4:46 left in a 21-14 decision …

Lee was named ACC Offensive Back of the Week for his performance.

North Carolina State … His performance vs. the Crimson Tide earned Lee a start vs. State, as he threw for 257 yards and a touchdown on 16-of-28 tries and rushed 12 times for 14 yards, including a 2-yard first quarter score … Found receiver Greg Carr with a fourth quarter 40-yard touchdown pass.

Wake Forest … Was intercepted twice on 24-of-45 throws, good for 283 yards and a pair of first quarter touchdowns, finding Preston Parker with a 6-yard scoring toss, followed by a 4-yarder to Greg Carr … Also scored on a 17-yard run with 0:17 left in the game.

Miami … In what would be his final collegiate game, Lee threw two interceptions among his 14-of-32 tosses for 208 yards, as he also ran for a 6-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter.

2006 Season

Played in eight games, starting vs. Maryland, Virginia and Wake Forest … Was brought along slowly early in the season and did not participate in spring camp while recovering from January right shoulder surgery … Completed 62-of-121 passes (51.2%) for 885 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions … Carried 23 times for 84 yards (3.7 avg) and gained 969 yards in total offense, an average of 121.1 yards per game.

2006 Game Analysis

Rice … Lee connected on 5-of-11 throws for 111 yards, including a fourth quarter 57-yard scoring strike to Greg Carr.

Duke … The sophomore QB threw for 90 yards on 7-of-16 attempts, as he was intercepted three times, but also found Damon McDaniel with a fourth quarter 14-yard touchdown toss.

Maryland … Lee followed with a career-high 286 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-36 chances during his first career start, adding 50 yards on eight carries … He tossed a 15-yard scoring pass to Greg Carr in the second quarter and hit Chris Davis with a third quarter 17-yard touchdown toss.

Virginia … Followed with 12-of-25 chances for 185 yards and a 37-yard touchdown to Chris Davis in the third quarter … Also gained 49 yards on four carries.

Western Michigan … Hit on 9-of-13 passes for 144 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Greg Carr, finding the receiver with a 26-yarder in the second quarter and a 19-yarder in the fourth.

2005 Season

Played in seven games behind Drew Weatherford … Was bothered by right shoulder problems in fall camp, eventually undergoing surgery to repair after the season … Gained 466 yards on 277-of-57 passes (47.4%) with three touchdowns and one interception … Had fourteen runs for 36 yards (2.6 avg) and a pair of scores … Gained 502 yards in total offense, an average of 71.7 yards per game.

2005 Game Analysis

The Citadel … In his first extensive action, Lee completed 5-of-8 passes for 143 yards and an interception, but he also found Greg Carr with a 10-yard third quarter scoring strike and ran for a 24-yard touchdown in the final frame.

Syracuse … Completed 5-of-10 attempts for 162 yards.

Wake Forest … Lee gained 44 yards on 4-of-6 tosses and ran for a 1-yard touchdown to end a 4-play, 83-yard drive with 5:38 left in the game.

Duke … The sophomore hit on 10-of-17 chances for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Greg Carr, as the receiver caught a 25-yarder from Lee in the third quarter and had a 12-yard scoring toss to Carr that ended a 66-yard, 8-play fourth quarter series.

2004 Season

Red-shirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2005: Suffered a right shoulder sprain in August camp and eventually underwent surgery after the season that forced him to miss 2006 spring camp.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.76 in the 40-yard dash … 1.64 10-yard dash … 2.78 20-yard dash … 33.5-inch vertical jump … 9'3" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 18 times.

Combine: Did not receive an invitation.

High School

Attended Seabreeze (Daytona Beach, Fla.) High School, where he was rated a five-star player by Rivals.com and the top-rated dual threat quarterback in the nation … Named to the Super Prep Elite 50 and Prep Star Top 100 Dream team … Holds Florida's all-time record for passing yards (9,082), completions (549) and touchdowns (98) in a career and was named Florida's Mr. Football for 2003 … Also earned All-State first-team and Class 3A Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season … In 10 games during the 2003 season, Lee rushed for 567 yards on 104 carries with 10 touchdowns … Was 198-for-361 (54 percent) for 3,133 yards, 37 touchdowns and only seven interceptions passing, earning All-State first-team accolades as a junior and was named 3A Player of the Year for the first of two times during his career … Rushed for 461 yards and 13 touchdowns and was 188-for-304 (62 percent) passing for 3,075 yards with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a senior … Member of the East Squad in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl played in January, 2004 in San Antonio, Texas.

Personal

Social Science major … Father, Willie Lee, was a standout defensive tackle at Bethune-Cookman (1972-75) and was selected in the fifth round of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, playing two seasons (1976-77) in the league … Brother, Anthony Kelly, is a red-shirt freshman linebacker at Florida State … Born 1/09/86 … Resides in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 
 

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