Taylor Lewan Scouting Report

image: © mhaithaca

image: © mhaithaca

Games Reviewed: vs Michigan State (2013), vs Alabama (2012), vs Notre Dame (2012 & 2013)

Size

Lewan has a tall, powerful physique, standing at 6’ 8” tall and weighing in currently at 309 pounds. His immense size has led to some people saying he would be more suited to playing on the right hand side of the line. He has long arms and he still has the potential to bulk up when he makes it to the NFL. 9/10

Pass Blocking

  1. Feet: Lewan has active feet that allow him to withstand speed rushes to his outside. In the games I have studied, Lewan was very rarely beaten on the outside by a speedy pass rusher. If a defender has half a step on him, he has the athleticism to be able to recover and continue protecting his quarterback. He is by no means the most nimble pass protector in the world but his feet are more than adequate for him to play outside in the NFL. 8/10
  2. Posture: As Lewan is one of the tallest offensive tackle prospects in the nation, you would expect savvy rushers to be able to use this to their advantage. This however, rarely happens with Lewan playing with good knee bend, this allows him to stay in control of his man and to keep his quarterback up right. One key negative that I’ve picked up on in Lewan’s game is that when he gives up a sack, it is typically to his inside. This is due to him overcommitting to the outside on occasion when protecting his quarterback, this type of balance issue could be overcome with good coaching at the next level. 6.5/10
  3. Hand Usage: Lewan has long arms so this gives him a large range for blocking the oncoming rushers and extends them nicely to keep pass rushers at bay. If they do manage to get close to Lewan past the initial contact, he has the canny ability to keep engaged without losing any ground. He achieves this by keeping his hands firmly positioned in the chest plate of defender, allowing him to control the rush. 8/10

Run Blocking

  1. Punch: Lewan is certainly less accomplished as a run blocker than he is a pass blocker, mostly down to him lacking a great initial punch. He very rarely pancakes his man when run blocking because of this deficiency in his game. This isn’t to say he has a terrible initial punch when run blocking, it is merely an adequate one. In the pro’s it would be surprising to see teams run towards Lewan’s side regularly. This makes the notion that Lewan is more suited to the right side of the line a little strange in my opinion. 6/10
  2. Movement: Lewan is a good mover in space, he was used on occasion as a pulling player in the Wolverines rushing attack and was able to be effective in this role. Lewan is also comfortable engaging an initial defender and moving onto the second level. When Lewan gets into space and is able to use his big body to move defenders around, this is where his best work in the running game occurs. 8/10
  3. Lower Body Strength A lot of the good work Lewan does when out in space and in getting to the second level occurs because of his strong lower body strength. Lewan has a good burst from the snap of the ball and this allows him to get to the second level like I’ve mentioned and create rushing lanes. This good lower body strength also means that Lewan is very rarely moved back in the running game and even if he isn’t he a dominant blocker, he generally creates some sort or avenue for his rusher to pursue.  7.5/10

Overall

Aggression: Lewan is typically known as a “blue-collar” mauler by draftniks, in part due to the fact they like the lazy comparison with Jake Long. It is also because of the aggression that Lewan plays with, he finishes every play and sometimes competes even after the whistle. By playing with this type of aggression in his game, Lewan is able to get the most out of his physical gifts and also get under the skin of defenders. This has been seen by many in his numerous confrontations with opposing players, most notoriously several times versus Michigan State. 8/10

Strength: To put it pretty simply, Taylor Lewan is a strong man. He could however with a good strength and conditioning programme, get a lot stronger. As stated in the first part of this report, he weighs in at 309 pounds currently and has a frame that would allow him to gain more weight without losing much in terms of flexibility.  8/10

Miscellaneous: Lewan is a four year starter for a programme with a good history of pumping out quality NFL lineman. He was also voted as a captain of the Wolverines by his team mates.  In 2013 he has been asked to play right tackle at times for the new look Wolverines offense. When you combine this with Lewans aptitude for pulling during running plays it shows a lot for the versatility of the man. Versatility on the offensive line is something that NFL coaches really value, this should be a big plus for Lewan come draft time. 9/10

Overall Grade 78/100

On the whole Lewan is a very solid prospect who has the ability to play at left tackle in the NFL. He is a more than adequate pass protector with the ability to move people around in the run game. I think with the benefits of a good offensive line coach in the NFL he will be able to correct a lot of his issues such as the over commiting to the outside speed rush and thus losing his balance. Combine this with an increase in weight and strength and whoever drafts Lewan in May could end up with a quality player.

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