STRENGTHS: Possesses a long, lean build well-suited to today's pass-happy NFL. Reads the quarterback's eyes and is a smooth accelerator, showing a burst to close on underneath routes. Times his leaps well in jump-ball situations and extends his arms to make a play at its highest point. Excellent ball skills, including the ability to track the ball over his shoulder, extend to catch away from his frame and the ability to sneak his hands under the ball to corral pass deflections.
Athletic enough to occasionally drop down to cover slot receivers. Has the long arms to re-route receivers and is balanced enough to cover short distances. Reads run quickly and flashes aggression to support. Long, strong arms for the pull-down tackle and occasionally will lower his shoulder for the big hit. Highly respected by coaching staff for his work ethic.
WEAKNESSES: A bit of a 'tweener. May lack the athleticism for deep coverage and the physicality necessary to play well closer to the line of scrimmage. Does not possess ideal hip fluidity and foot quickness to operate as a true centerfielder against an NFL passing attack. Loses a step as he changes directions and does not have great speed to recover.
Does too much grabbing and dragging as an open-field tackler, and when he does attempt to lower the boom has a tendency to duck his head and lunge. Takes questionable angles to the ball, underestimating the speed of ball-carriers and not proving to be a reliable last line of defense.
COMPARES TO: Kerry Rhodes, FS, Arizona Cardinals: Like the 6-3, 212-pound Rhodes, Lester has the size, closing speed and ball skills to develop into a dependable ball-hawk at the next level