Taylor Lewan’s has the tools you look for in an OT

By Sean Meusch

A year ago, Taylor Lewan was thought to be a strong candidate for a Top 15 selection had he declared as an underclassman. Unfortunately, Lewan’s senior season wasn’t enough to raise his stock.

Where He Excels

  • Functional Strength
  • Road-Grading Run Blocker
  • Uses Length & Size to his advantage
  • Good/Fluid Athlete

If there’s one thing that Lewan is, it’s he’s strong. At just under 6’8, with very long arms, you can the natural strength, especially when he locks on to defenders. Lewan is consistent with his hand placement and knows how to use his length to his advantage. Whether it’s to wall off defenders from the edge or redirect them on inside counter moves.

When Lewan gets low & plays with a proper base, there are very few pass rushers that are going  to move him bull-rushing. Has surprisingly good bend for a player 6’8. Lewan has shown plus awareness, knowing where his QB is on the field at all times.

Michigan asked Lewan to get out in space, and he excelled at it. Lewan is a very good linear athlete that is able to adjust to his targets on the move. The long screen vs. Ohio State is a great example of this. He also does a good job of getting down the line on stretch plays and getting to the 2nd level.

Lewan will have an appeal to offensive coordinators for his nasty demeanor with which he plays the game. Lewan plays with a high motor and through the whistle.

What Could Hold Him back at the Next Level

  • Inconsistent Base
  • Finding work at the next level/when pulling
  • Too many penalties

Lewan’s inconsistent base makes him susceptible in every facet. He’s often bent at the waist in his stance, which goes a long way to neutralizing his natural power. Lewan will lean on defenders, instead of rolling into them and uncoiling his hips. When he does this, this is where you see the dominant run blocking. The issue is it doesn’t happen on a consistent basis.

The base carries over to affect his technique. He’ll occasionally get too wide, and end up off balance, losing his angle and leaving gaps for LBs to get through or DL to make plays on ball carriers. Should also be noted that speed rushers who set him up to the outside then counter across his face might have success at the next level.

I noted that Lewan was a good athlete. You’d think he would be better working to the next level or when asked to pull. He has a tendency to take poor angles working to the next level. When pulling, it seems like he gets lost half of the time and ends up playing too tall.

Lewan was flagged for several penalties. I believe the number was 14. That needs to be fixed in a hurry. I never do this, because I’m not in a position to talk about someones character, but it should be noted that Lewan has serious red flags off the field. He’s never been arressted, but he’s been accused of assaulting fans, threatening them, and a other incidents that will need to be looked at more.

Grade/Final Thought

Multiple Pro Bowl Player, Top 10   8.5 – 9.0
Highly Productive Starter, 1st Round   8.0 – 8.4
Very Good Starter, Early 2nd Round   7.8 – 7.9
Reliable Starter, 2nd Round   7.5 – 7.7
Potential Starter in Year 2, 3rd Round   7.0 – 7.4
Backup/Spot Starter, 4th Round   6.5 – 6.9
Productive Backup, 5th Round   6.0 – 6.4
Very Good Backup/STs, 6th Round   5.5 – 5.9
Quality Backup/Good STs, 7th Round   5.0 – 5.4
Backup/STs/Project Player, 7th Round   4.5 – 4.9
Priority Free Agent w/ Limitations   4.0 – 4.4
Non-Draftable     < 4.0

 

Trait Weight Grade
Run Block 4 3.8
Pass Block 4 3.5
Technique 2.5 2.1
Strength 2.5 2.4
Awareness 2 1.8
Change of Direction 2 1.7
Flexibility 2 1.6
Quickness 2 1.7
Size 2 1.8
Length 2 1.9

Lewan grades out to a 8.03, which puts him as a fringe first rounder. Many of the same deficiencies in his game are ones I saw in D.J. Fluker-albeit Lewan shows better atheticism & agility. Lewan and the length, awareness, and untapped strength that you look for in a tackle. He might struggle early on with quicker, athletic edge rushers & if he doesn’t fix his base & footwork, he’ll max out to just a middle of the road starter. His issues are coach-able, and if he’s able to iron out these flaws he could be a top 10 OT for years to come.

 

 

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