The Green Bay Packers have signed defensive tackle James Lee of Oregon State, one of the club's two fifth-round selections in the 2003 NFL draft, to a multi-year contract, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced Wednesday.
The 6-5, 325-pound Lee, nicknamed "Big Griz" for the growl he emits at the line of scrimmage, is the first of Green Bay's nine draft choices to be signed.
A two-year letterman, he played in 23 games for the Beavers, including all 13 contests as the top reserve defensive tackle during the 2002 season - among the latter the Insight.com Bowl. He closed out the '02 season with 29 tackles (19 unassisted, 7 for loss), broke up 3 passes, recovered 1 fumble and forced another.
Lee's best overall production came in a 59-19 victory over Fresno State, when he led his team with 32 defensive points (3 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 fumble recovery and 1 pass broken up).
Earlier a two-year starting defensive tackle at Douglas McKay High School in Salem, Oregon, Lee was named outstanding defensive lineman at the state's prep all-star game.