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*** [RD 7] Bengals Select ~ MATT LEE, C ***

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  • BlackJesus changed the title to *** [RD 7] Bengals Select ~ MATT LEE, C ***
Matt Lee headshot

Prospect Info

Oviedo, FL
6’ 4’’
301 lbs
32 1/8’’
9 1/4’’


Lee's lack of mass and NFL size will be a stumbling block from a perception standpoint, but the tape doesn't lie when it comes to his talent in pass protection. Lee is a technician with good play strength whose anchor supersedes the number on the scale. He keeps his head on a swivel and was rarely beaten in 2023. He's not much of a knee-bender, so drive blocking attempts will stall out, creating lane closures inside. Lee is an average athlete with above-average core strength and protection technique, and he might be able to overcome concerns about his size once he makes it into a camp.


  • Pass protection technique and success rate are above average.
  • Plays with inside hands and above-average core strength.
  • Absorbs contact and is rarely ever jolted off-balance.
  • Good job of resetting hands and opening ankles/hips to anchor.
  • Stays square and lands with decent pop in his gallop step in the run game.
  • Continues to move his feet to stay connected with a moving defender.
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9. MATT LEE | Miami 6035 | 301 lbs. | 5SR Oviedo, Fla. (Hagerty) 6/6/2001 (age 22.89) #55


BACKGROUND: Matthew “Matt” Lee was born and raised in Oviedo. His father (Mike) played on the offensive line at UCF in the early ’90s (multiple members of his family also attended UCF), and Lee attended Knights football games throughout childhood, which started him on his own football journey. Lee attended Hagerty High School and was a four-year letterman at both offensive tackle and on the defensive line. He became a starter as a sophomore and played the bulk of his snaps as a blocking tight end in Hagerty’s run-heavy, single-wing offense. Lee played at both left tackle and right tackle over his final two seasons, leading Hagerty to the 2018 district championship. He was also a member of the Hagerty weightlifting squad and led the program to the 2018 district title . He finished second in the heavyweight division with a bench press of 360 pounds and clean-and-jerk of 310.


A three-star recruit, Lee was the No. 162 offensive tackle in the 2019 class and the No. 260 recruit in Florida. After his sophomore season, he received his first Division I offers (Florida Atlantic and Air Force). With a 3.9 GPA and 1350 SAT score, Lee started to receive attention from Ivy League programs, including offers from Columbia, Cornell, Harvard and Yale. In May 2018, he received an offer from South Florida and committed. He wasn’t recruited by Scott Frost’s staff at UCF, but when Josh Heupel took over as head coach, Lee received an offer and made the easy decision to flip to his hometown team. He signed as a center (despite having never played the position) and was the No. 19 recruit in Heupel’s 2019 class. After four seasons with the UCF program, Lee entered the transfer portal and signed with Miami for his final season of eligibility. His cousin (Alex Galvez) played on the offensive line at UCF in the 1990s. Lee graduated with his degree in integrated studie s (December 2022) from UCF before transferring. He accepted his invitation to the 2024 East-West Shrine Bowl.


YEAR (GP/GS) POSITION NOTES 2019: (4/0) UCF; Redshirted; Enrolled in July 2019 2020: (10/10) OC UCF; Freshman All-American; First Team All-AAC; Pandemic-shortened season 2021: (12/12) OC UCF; Missed one game (injury) 2022: (14/14) OC UCF; Second Team All-AAC 2023: (12/12) OC Miami; Second Team All-ACC; Missed bowl game (opt-out); Enrolled in January 2023 Total: (52/48) OC HT WT HAND ARM WING 40-YD 20-YD 10-YD VJ BJ SS 3C BP COMBINE 6035 301 9 1/4 32 1/8 78 5/8 5.03 2.93 1.76 31 9’0” - - - (no shuttle, 3-cone, bench press — choice) PRO DAY 6036 302 9 32 1/4 78 5/8 - - - - - 4.69 7.97 25 (stood on combine — choice)


STRENGTHS: Light-footed and graceful on the move … ability as a puller/climber and in the screen game can be weaponized with improved control … plays with a wide base and mirrors inside rushers well in pass protection … initial strikes are firm and measured, helping him stay centered … recognizes things well to handle stunts and rarely appears surprised, allowing him to anchor at shallow depth … penalized just once in 2023, for a questionable block below the waist … smart and vocal and helps adjust protections … regularly looking for work,and his consistency as a finisher will serve him well in the pros … started double-digit games each of the last four seasons (48 career starts across two programs).


WEAKNESSES: Lacks ideal body mass, and his playing weight will dip below 300 pounds … short arms will have a tough time combating the lon g-levered interior rushers in the NFL … tends to lose leverage throughout the rep, and his hand exchange must improve to better respond to counters … has some body tightness, which hinders his ability to recover from awkward positions … can be cratered by side-angled blocks … doesn’t have the pop or power to consistently move bodies in the run game … will be thrown off balance or whiff when he lunges at this targets in space … saw some action as a backup guard in 2019, but 97.6 percent of his college snaps (and all 48 starts) came at center


SUMMARY: A one-year starter at Miami, Lee was the starting center in offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson’s balanced run scheme. He outplayed his recruiting rankings during his four years at UCF and put together his best season after joining the Hurricanes in 2023, earning second t eam All-ACC honors. In pass protection Lee was a boring study — and I mean that as a compliment, because he rarely allowed any pressures, thanks to his setup, mirror quickness and clamp-down hands. Though he can create stalemates in the run game, he isn’t a powerful drive blocker and will struggle to shield lanes at times. Overall, Lee doesn’t have the power desired by most schemes, but he can handle surface blocks in the run game while staying stout in pass pro, thanks to his quickness and technique. In the right situation, he can secure a backup role and compete for NFL playing time. GRADE: 5th-6th Round

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Height: 6-4, Weight: 295

Tall, mobile center with loads of experience in the ACC. Suddenness is good as is his awareness. Makes effort to get low, quicker than fast but accurate at second-level. Decent anchor for a mobile center just has to add sand in his pants. (Chris Trapasso)



Matt Lee is a taller, reasonably long hyper-active center who tries to win on suddenness and awareness alone. He does a fine job doing so in most occasions. He's a blast of a blocker on combos. Hits down block then ascends to the second level with a purpose and stays square to his secondary target. Mostly accurate once he's in space. On pulls he could gain a little more ground opening the running lane, tends to wrap his pulls very close to the furthest outside blocker. Quicker than he is fast. Makes a concerted effort to get low and drive DLs up and out of the way despite not possessing serious point-of-attack power. Back bend is there. Will take a punch and asborb it. Decent anchor a burst-based OC. However, he could definitely stand to add more sand in his pants at the next level because it takes a few attempts to sit into his anchor. Hand work is good but late at times if anything. Occasionally gets a little too excited at the second level or on down blocks and will get off-balance, yet not a major concern of his game. He's ery aware; he will find stunts and secondary rushers with good regularity. Further ahead in pass pro than run blocking. Lee is an NFL-starter down the road with added strength/weight.


  • 2023: Second-team All-AAC
  • 2022 (UCF): Third-highest-graded C in FBS, per PFF
  • Awesome combo blocker because of his quicks and explosion in short areas
  • Can anchor against most squattier interior rushers
  • Keen awareness to get to stunts and blitzes
Combine Data
  • 40-yard dash: 5.03 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 31 inches
  • Broad jump: 9 feet, 3 inches
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Because everyone goes from unknown to Superman once drafted. These online draft experts can always come up with their “secret grades”. 

Been watching some other teams’ fan sites. Amazing how amazing each pick is “rated”. 

My time-honored expression: Everyone Wins On Draft Day.  

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3 hours ago, WRAPradio said:

Why was he still available? Reading all of this praise, you’d think he would have gone in the top 100.


He weighed 288 at the East-West Shrine game and then bulked up to 301 for the combine.

I'm sure teams were assuming he was too small for what they want.

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