Taylor Lewan Scouting Report
Taylor Lewan, 6-7/309
By Charlie Campbell
Skilled at mirroring speed rushers going for corner
Holds up against bull rushes
Can push open holes
Can play with good pad level
Very physical with defensive players
Blocks with authority
Gets to blocks on the second level
Can intimidate defenders
Fast at hitting kick out blocks
Has some locker-room-leadership attributes
Experienced and successful against good college rushers
Improved each season
Wants to be great
Ready to play immediately
Flexible to play in zone-blocking or man-blocking schemes
Off-the-field legal issues
Can get beat on rushes to the inside
Can get in trouble when he stands up too high
Could have some issues with elite speed rushers
Has had issues with personal-foul penalties
Could have some issues with holding, face-mask penalties
A year ago, Lewan could have been the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. As a prospect, WalterFootball.com knows sources around the league who feel Lewan is a better player than Eric Fisher, the Chiefs selection at No. 1 overall, and Luke Joeckel, the Jaguars pick at No. 2 last year. Lewan was an impact starter at a storied program and steadily improved over his college career.
Lewan played as a freshman and showed his special skill set, but had issues with mental mistakes and penalties. He was a Second-Team All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore in 2011. It was good to see Lewan mature as he reduced his personal foul penalties from his first season.
2012 didn't start great with a so-so performance against Alabama. Lewan was beaten for some pressures and was called for a few penalties. He had an okay game against Notre Dame, but was beaten for a sack by linebacker Prince Shembo. Lewan allowed some pressure and had some bend-but-not-break moments. He turned in a mixed day against Ohio State during which he allowed a sack and was also beaten on another play that produced a forced fumble. Lewan perfomed well against the Buckeyes other than those plays, but those two plays where he was beaten were extremely costly for the Wolverines. The junior had a lot of dominant performances overall in 2012.
In that season's Outback Bowl, Lewan took on South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney and Lewan held his own. Lewan picked up his share of wins, but was also beaten for a tackle for a loss. He was called for a holding and needed some double-team help, too. However, Lewan wasn't beaten for a sack and Clowney didn't make him look bad. Against an elite superstar pass-rusher like Clowney, that was a good day for any tackle.
Overall, Lewan had a very good senior year. He generally won his blocks against Michigan State, but also had some plays where he lost discipline and made some cheap shots. Lewan was flagged for one facemask penalty and could have been flagged for other personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Lewan played well against Connecticut except for one play when he was beaten for a sack. The senior had a strong game against Notre Dame in Week 2 and played much better than he did a year earlier against the Fighting Irish. Lewan did well in run blocking and was rock solid as a pass-protector. He turned in good performances against Iowa, Ohio State and Kansas State to close out his final season.
Entering the NFL, Lewan is a well-rounded blocker. He is a good pass-protector who has the quickness and athleticism to be a franchise left tackle. Lewan has good length and can be tough to get by around the edge. He could stand to get better at blocking moves to the inside, but that is a common point of improvement for tall tackles like Lewan. He is strong and rarely has any issues with stuffing a bull rush.
Lewan is a good blocker in the ground game, too. He can move defensive linemen at the point of attack and is quick to hit kick-out blocks. Lewan has more power and run-blocking ability than many of the athletic, tap-dancing left tackles who are finesse blockers. Lewan also plays with a mean streak; a trait that seems to be a dying quality with some offensive linemen.
Lewan has run into some legal trouble after getting into a fight in December. Some teams will hold it against him. On the field, he needs to make sure he maintains his composure as he had too many penalties in college.
Lewan looks like a quick starter in the NFL and a potential franchise left tackle who could be a Pro Bowler during his career.
Player Comparison: Jake Long.
There are a lot of similarities between Long and Lewan. Both players are Michigan products with rare size. Lewan and Long (6-7, 322) have excellent length and are athletic for their size. When healthy, Long has been a good left tackle in the NFL after being the No. 1-overall pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2008. Lewan could end up being a left tackle comparable to Long in the NFL.
Buffalo, Tennessee, St. Louis, New York Giants, Dallas, Baltimore, Miami, Arizona
There are a lot of potential landing spots in the top 20 for Lewan. He has the talent of a top-10 pick, but it is difficult to judge how much the off-the-field issues will be held against him. The first potential landing spot for Lewan could be Buffalo. The Bills need a right tackle. By drafting Lewan, they could consider moving Cordy Glenn to left tackle.
The Titans don't have an immediate need for a left tackle, but Michael Roos is 31 and nearing the end of his contract. Tennessee could look at Lewan as his future replacement.
WalterFootball.com has heard that the Rams like Lewan. He could be the future replacement for Long. Considering all of Long's injury issues, St. Louis could use a backup option in a critical year for Sam Bradford.
The Giants addressed the offensive line in free agency, but they could still target Lewan to improve their pass blocking for Eli Manning.
Walt had a good point in his mock
regarding Lewan and Dallas. Doug Free is in the last year of his deal and could move inside to guard. Lewan would improve Dallas' protection for Tony Romo.
The Ravens lost Michael Oher in free agency and could use a right tackle. Miami still needs a lot of offensive line help. However, Lewan's character issues would hurt him with the Dolphins' regime.
Even though Arizona signed Jared Veldheer, the organization could look for a long-term right tackle as the position is occupied by veteran Eric Winston. Bringing Lewan back to Arizona would be a nice value for the Cardinals.
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