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Potential Pick: Michigan OT Taylor Lewan Tough To Pass On
(Editor’s Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today’s featured player is Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan).
Name: Taylor Lewan
Position: Offensive Tackle
Height/Weight: 6-7 / 309
Honors: Lewan was named Big 10 Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2013. He was a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award. Lewan was a first-team All-American by The Sporting News, and second-team All-American by nearly all other outlets, including The Associated Press.
Fifth-Year Senior (2013) ... earned fourth varsity letter ...started all 13 games at left tackle ...First-Team All-American by Sporting News ... Second-Team All-American by Walter Camp, Associated Press, CBSSports.com and SI.com ... Big Ten Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year ... All-Big Ten first team (coaches and media) ... semifinalist for Rotary Lombardi Award ... Sporting News All-Big Ten Team ... Athlon Sports All-Big Ten Team ... Hugh R. Rader Memorial Award (given to U-M's top offensive lineman) ... First-Team Preseason All-American by ESPN.com, CBSSports.com, SI.com and Sporting News.
Key stat: Played in 50 games for the Wolverines, starting 48, including the final 41 games of his career.
Where He’s Projected: Lewan is a clear-cut first-round player – one of those guys who could go as high as Top 10 but could fall to the teens. Obviously, he’s a possibility for the Cowboys at No. 16. Teams love big left tackles who could seemingly play 10-12 years and Lewan certainly fits that bill.
How He Helps the Cowboys: If you go back and look at the last few drafts, the Cowboys have made a couple of picks that didn’t seem to make much sense at the time, but a year later, the story is different. Morris Claiborne seemed to be in the middle a crowded secondary when they took him, but the Cowboys likely knew Mike Jenkins wouldn’t be around the following year. What they didn’t know was Orlando Scandrick would be a better player than Claiborne after two years. But they also drafted Terrance Williams in the third round and now with Miles Austin gone, Williams is expected to start. So with Doug Free having one year left on his deal, the Cowboys could stand to draft a tackle like this. Then again, first-rounders typically start right away so it might make for an interesting dilemma. Don’t forget Doug Free has worked at guard some, so there would be an option.
Scout’s Take: Lined up as the left tackle for Michigan but believe that he projects to more of a right one. Lined up in some unbalanced looks as well during the season. Showed some athletic ability at the Combine that you didn’t see on his college tape. Dependable player that was consistent in the way in which he went about his business. Not an up-and-down player at all. Was not always perfect or clean with his technique that you might have seen with a guy like Jake Matthews from Texas A&M but didn’t struggle either on the edge. Can kick to the outside and put himself in position to secure the block. Has the length to extend his hands and control his man. If there was an issue at times, it was that you would see him play over the tops of his shoes and get a little top- heavy but then he would make the correct and get himself back in better position. When he becomes engaged with the rusher, can sink his hips and stop their charge. The harder the rusher comes at him, the harder he fights. Showed some nice quickness when the rusher tried to turn the corner on him. Did a really nice job of creating width in the pocket and you rarely observed him getting driven into the quarterbacks lap. Understood how to work his man wide, if he needed to. Showed the ability to adjust back inside if the rusher went that route. Able to mirror and slide with his man to finish the block. Got movement in the running game more through positioning that just shear power. His size really helped him here to shield the defender from the play. His height is much better than his bulk. Was rare to see him on the ground as a run blocker. Really nice job with sustain and was always working to finish with effort. Still feel like that he is the 3rd best tackle in the draft behind Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews but his work at the Combine allowed him to close the gap. Will need to check his background for some off the field problems but if you just study the tape, he is a solid first round selection and could be in that range when Dallas selects with their first pick.