Taylor Lewan has been the anchor of Michigan’s offensive line since he was a Sophomore. He is a physical specimen that, at the very least, looks the part of a franchise left tackle.
During his tenure in Ann Arbor, he has dealt with some tough situations that almost any kid his age would have thrown in the towel and tapped out. His name was involved in the Brendan Gibbons situation, although he has denied the affiliation.
At the end of his Junior year at the University of Michigan, he was projected as a top-ten pick on most people’s draft boards, and was as high as number nine on that list. But Lewan did something that most people questioned: he returned for his senior year. This came to as a surprise for some, mainly because they thought he’d jump at the early projections.
Lewan went from an almost guaranteed top-ten pick, to a player that had to prove himself all over again. But Lewan built up a nice reputation and continued to enjoy success on the field, even if it looked like he was the only one blocking on some plays. He built up a lot of credit with scouts and general managers around the NFL, and he earned himself a top-ten grade again.
Some have Lewan as their third-ranked OT in the draft, only behind Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews and Auburn’s Greg Robinson, but he could end up getting drafted ahead of either one. Projections or mock drafts really don’t mean too much, remember when Darius Heyward-Bey was drafted ahead of Michael Crabtree? The only thing that matters is if a team likes him, and believes he can help them for the duration of his career.
Is Lewan that guy that will help a franchise? I believe he is. He has struggled from time to time on the OL, but that will happen. His combine numbers would determine just how high he can go, and there are some impressive numbers from him. His 40 yard dash ranked at the top of the list amung Offensive Lineman. He also was able to put up just shy of 30 reps on the bench press, hitting 29 at 225 pounds.
There has been a lot of talk and fluctuation regarding Lewan; some mock drafts think he could go as high as number 9 overall to the Buffalo Bills, 10 to the Detriot Lions, 12 to the New York Giants, or even falling to number 17 to the Baltimore Ravens. But there is no doubt he has Top 10 talent, it is just whether or not he can use it to the best of his abilities.
With a solid combine, he could have solidified himself as a top-ten pick. Lewan’s a guy who has faced some of the best talent in the country throughout his career. He faced Jadeveon Clowney, arguably the best player in the draft, in the Outback Bowl in 2012, and did a very good job against him, minus the Vincent Smith incident. He faced elite competition, and that should only better prepare him for the next level.
(Photo credit to Leon Halip/Getty Images)
It should be an interesting few months for Lewan leading up to the NFL Draft in April, and shortly after his pro-day, there should be a good feeling of where he ends up. Right now it could be anywhere, but that’s the fun part in all of this. He’s a player that could make a tremendous impact, and could anchor another offensive line for years to come.