The 2014 BTB Community Draft continues!
This is our favorite opportunity to interact with our community and allow them some front-page limelight, while simultaneously getting our first in-depth look at several candidates for the draft's first round.
This will be much more than just one community member's idea of how to help out their assigned teams. After each selection is forwarded to me, I will gather all of the pertinent information about this prospect from some of the internet's best draft resources. We will try to highlight the profile's best and worst traits, so that our reader's are highly educated come May 8th when these guys names are called.
To keep things simple, no trades are allowed; I think for a one round exercise that does little to actually project how things are going to turn out. One GM, one team, one pick. Let's get it on!
Draft Pick # 12
Team Name: New York Giants
Selection: (OT) Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Why the pick:
As much as we don't like Eli Manning around these parts, we all know he's not ACTUALLY as bad as his offensive line made him look last year. If we can blame Romo's 2012 struggles on our line, then we have to accept the same was true of the Giants' 2013 line. They need some help inside, but there aren't any interior linemen worthy of a top 15 pick. I chose Lewan here because last year's first round pick, Justin Pugh, was projected to play guard in the NFL anyway, so he can kick inside to provide interior help and Lewan can man the right tackle spot and eventually replace overpaid veteran Will Beatty on the left. Eli Manning remains the Giants' best hope for a title, so they want to do everything they can to keep him upright.
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): Tight End
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): Feature Wide Receiver, 4-3 Defensive Tackle, Guard, Left Tackle, 4-3 Defensive End
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): Strong Safety, Feature Back, Center, Right Tackle, Speed Receiver, COP Back, 4-3 Outside Backer, Cornerback
-- Threat Level Green (priority 9): Middle Linebacker, Free Safety, Quarterback
-- Drafttek.com ranked #14 Overall, #3 at the position
-- Greg Gabriel, National Football Post: #5 Overall, #2 at the position
Lewan has gotten bigger every year and is playing at about 315 now. He is a tall guy at about 6'7 but is also very athletic. He has a natural ability to bend, has quick feet and can change direction very well. He plays in a multi offense and usually plays out of a 3-point stance. He shows very good initial quickness and comes out of his stance low. He is a strong and explosive on contact and has the power to get movement with his run blocks. He easily gets to the second level and can adjust on the move. He is a physical player who looks to finish and has a bit of "nasty" in his play. In pass protection he can set quickly and easily mirrors opponents. I like that he is very patient in pass protection and seldom gives his opponent an opening. He stays square and can slide his feet and recover. He plays with bend and can anchor versus a bull rush. He has a strong quick punch and knows how to keep his hands inside. He doesn't pull that often, but when he does he can get in front of a back and adjust on the move to make a productive block.
-- CBSSports.com ranked #13 overall, #3 at the position
-- DraftInsider.Net ranked #9 overall, #3 at the position
-- OptimumScouting.com ranked #10 overall, #3 at the position
-- DraftCountdown ranked #7 overall, #3 at the position
-- Scout.com ranked #9 overall, #3 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #3 at the position
-- Josh Norris ranked #22 overall, #3 at the position
-- NFLDraftScout.com profile (Rob Rang):
STRENGTHS: With good height and length, he looks the part and has the frame to play on the left side at the next level, adding nearly 50 pounds since his senior year in high school.
Possesses quick feet. A former defensive lineman, Lewan is known as a self-starter with a mean streak and nasty attitude on the field, but also emerged as more of a leader the past two seasons. Keeps his head on a swivel and has the competitive drive to win one-on-one battles.
Demonstrates enough lateral agility and balance in his kick-slide to maintain the edge, while also possessing the strength to lock up his opponent. Strong initial step when asked to fire through to the second level and targets decisively in the open field.
WEAKNESSES: Needs to stay focused to cut down on penalties and use proper footwork and technique, not simply relying on his natural ability. Struggled with jab-steps and counters back inside when battling quick, crafty defenders and tends to drop his head upon contact.
Inconsistent in terms of timing off the snap and will find himself stood up and easily pushed back at times as a result. Collapses at the elbow, too often allowing his opponent into his chest, and will get too far out in front of his feet at the second level as a run blocker.
COMPARES TO: Jake Long, LT, St. Louis Rams - Lewan looked like the second coming of Long wearing No. 77 in the Michigan maize and blue. Lewan, who only made the switch to offensive line as a senior in high school, is certainly behind the No. 1 overall pick of the 2008 draft in terms of development, but the size, athleticism and mentality are in place to resume the Wolverines' tradition of churning out quality NFL offensive linemen.
'12 Taylor Lewan vs Jadeveon Clowney
'13 Taylor Lewan vs Notre Dame
Houston, Jadeveon Clowney,
St Louis Rams, Greg Robinson,
Jacksonville Jaguars, Johnny Manziel,
Cleveland Browns, Blake Bortles,
Oakland Raiders, Khalil Mack
Atlanta Falcons, Jake Matthews,
Tampa Bay Bucs, Teddy Bridgewater,
Minnesota Vikings, Aaron Donald
Buffalo Bills, Sammy Watkins
Detroit Lions, Anthony Barr
Tennessee Titans, Justin Gilbert