May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Taylor Lewan (Michigan) poses with his jersey after being selected as the number eleven overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Tennessee Titans at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Posted at 6:30am — 5/16/2014
Michigan Football: Taylor Lewan — Preview for Titans
Taylor Lewan — A Really Big Question Mark
This article is to shed light for Tennessee Titan fans regarding first-round draft pick, Taylor Lewan. Lewan and Craig Roh came from Arizona to Michigan. And Coach Rodriguez went from Michigan to Arizona. Lewan was highly prized because of his quickness and ability to move in space. It was printed by some sources that Lewan played soccer; this site has never attempted to authenticate that tidbit. Lewan was thought to be capable in a zone scheme and able to get to the next level very well. Both of those attributes ended up as being true predictions.
Dec 28, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Taylor Lewan (77) against the Kansas State Wildcats during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsLewan came in a little on the light side weight wise but heavy on the athletic end. He worked very hard to build up bulk and is now a good 6’7” and 310 pounds. Lewan has to work to maintain weight at the high end, so he should always be in shape.
He has plenty of positives and plenty of negatives. Why is he a first-round draft pick? First of all, there are few guys his size that can move as well. Having said that, he does not have the best footwork and technique. He has always seemed to know what to do, but gets a little lazy and loses focus. Any scheme that wants Lewan to get to the second level should be rewarded, but sometimes in close hand-to hand combat he gets locked up and neutralized. His run blocking is solid and his pass protection, while not supreme is better than many give credit.
Everyone will remember Lewan for the famous non-block on Clowney that almost got Vinnie Smith renamed the Headless Horseman. So, what happened? This depends on who is to be believed. It was a missed assignment by someone and not really a matter of Clowney beating Lewan that easily.
January 1,2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive linesman Taylor Lewan (77) blocks South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Chaz Sutton (90) during the second half of the 2013 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. South Carolina Gamecocks defeated the Michigan Wolverines 33-28. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsTaylor Lewan is very smart but still has plenty of overall growth needed to utilize his ability. He knows this and how he grows the next two years may determine if he is a top tackle or another all-you-other that fades out after a short career.
His character has undergone plenty of unsubstantiated but troublesome rumors as well as specific charges. He leaves Ann Arbor with plenty of smoke trailing his backside. Soon, one way or another, the last batch of problems will be attended. Taylor was seen by some of our staff acting what can best be described as a middle schooler at a scrimmage, running his mouth to a substitute defender standing on the sideline, then being removed to the sideline. Those in the loop did not raved about his leadership with young players this past year. There are some glad to see him gone. Coach Hoke, a very benevolent mentor, has attempted to patch up Taylor’s image as perceived by the general public. Is he misunderstood, or is he his own worst enemy?
Nov 3, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Michigan Wolverines offensive linesman Taylor Lewan (77) makes a block in the second half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsMuch of the above is a shame since Taylor is a two time Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the year recipient. He was hailed as a hero for coming back to lead the team this year. His year went just about like Michigan’s team.
One question that fans ask is whether or not Taylor is mean. Indeed he is, but he forgets the team and can get a penalty at a very bad time. He has broken down big drives with penalties. Some of his actions could be described as not in the best interest of the team.
Dec 28, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Taylor Lewan (77) against the Kansas State Wildcats during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsTaylor Lewan has the physical ability and frame to be a superior lineman. He also has the ghosts in the closet possibility of tanking out. If a bet had to be made, the first choice may outweigh the second. Taylor needs to get to camp, learn the system, get under the wing of a good mentor and prove to the Titan organization he can stay out of trouble and play within a team scheme. The smart prediction is that Taylor will be an elevator during his first season in the NFL.
Many have compared Lewan to Jake Long. That is not the author’s opinion. He is good, but to be Jake Long good Lewan will need to work as feverishly as any lineman in the league. He is good enough to be a starter, leave those doubts behind. But again, Lewan is a 310-pound question mark of a destination. So, sit back and take a couple of years to see what happens.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu
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