Checking in on the Cowboys third-round selection, Jourdan Lewis.
For the second straight day, the Cowboys have taken a Michigan star. After Thursday left many fans worried about the secondary, the Cowboys have taken giants steps towards rebuilding it with both day two draft picks used on cornerbacks. After the Cowboys selected Chidobe Awuzie in round two, they followed it up by selecting Jourdan Lewis with the 92nd overall pick.
Edge Rusher - CHECK
Cornerback #1 - CHECK
Cornerback #2 - CHECK
The front office came into this draft as cool as the other side of the pillow and after three strong picks, it’s easy to see why. They are executing their plan to perfection. Lewis is a great corner and remarkable value at this point in the draft.
At 5’10”, Lewis is not a big guy, but he possesses so many strong traits at the cornerback position. He looks the part of a slot corner with the ability to change direction well and smothers receivers off the line of scrimmage. And despite being smaller, he plays very physical and an asset in run support. He has great awareness and has been a very productive collegiate corner. His balls skills are top notch.
Check out his highlights
Ultra-competitive with an overwhelming drive to succeed. Allowed just seven catches in 2016 for completion percentage against of 23.3. An annoyance from press coverage. Squats on top of his target waiting to punch and impede. Twitchy feet can stick and close to ball instantly when he reads pass. Able to flip hips and accelerate quickly. Has lateral quickness and agility to flourish from the slot. Has adequate recovery speed to make up for an early mistake. Finds ball with back to quarterback as well as anyone in college. Maintains tight coverage downfield and waits for receiver's eyes to cue him in on when to turn and find it. In three years as a starter, credited with 42 passes defensed, including six interceptions. Allowed just two touchdowns during same time frame. Showed off ball skills and athleticism with highlight reel, one-handed interception against Wisconsin. Has special teams experience as a gunner and in return game.
Diminutive frame. Limited in coverage options due to matchup concerns against elite NFL size. Has to work overtime to disengage from physical wideouts in run support. Tape shows small delay in reaction when attempting to mirror an inside release. Tendency to grab if beaten early off the line. Penalized 14 times over career with eight pass interferences. Will allow his man a head start past him when he starts reckless eyeballing the quarterback from off coverage. Might lack necessary spring to win 50-50 balls at the high point.
STRENGTHS: Lewis has the foot quickness and fluidity at the line of scrimmage to flip his body and stay hip-to-hip with receivers vertically. He routinely stays in phase in man coverage due to his balance and instincts as the space between him and receivers seems virtually nonexistent. Lewis also boasts quick eyes to locate the football with the aggressive ballskills to attack the catch point, appearing to want the ball more than receivers.
WEAKNESSES: Although he is a better than expected run defender given his size, Lewis doesn't have the body or power potential ideal for off-coverage. His preference to play tight coverage is what makes him so effective, but it is also what gets him in trouble due to his tendency to grab as he attempts to gain leverage and impede receivers. Lewis has the quickness to recover if receivers push off, but facing bigger NFL receivers will be a much different task.
Here are his measurables courtesy of mockdraftable.
When Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne left in free agency, many fans started stressing about the Cowboys secondary situation. But just in a matter of a few hours, the team has now spent two strong resources on the position with some fresh young talent.
We can’t fail to mention Lewis is facing a domestic violence charge, which could be an issue moving forward.
What do you think about the selection of Lewis?