Travis is a smart linebacker who has good size, speed, and explosion to the ball to make a tackle. He has excellent athletic talent to be used as a cover LB in man-to-man defense. Travis shows excellent leadership skills and makes the players around him better. He understands situational defense and is like a coach on the field for other players to rely on for correct positioning. Travis is a head up, wrap up, squeeze and drive tackler. He can play any one of the linebacker positions in any style of defense, but his impact position for the next level should be as a weak side linebacker in a 4-3 defense or as a middle linebacker in the Tampa two-zone style of defense. He reminds me a lot of Sean Lee (LB Dallas Cowboys). Travis is the type of player who grows on you the more he plays and seems to be noticed more when he is off the field than when he is on the field. By that I mean, when Travis is injured or off the field for multiple plays in a row, the overall play of the defense disintegrates dramatically.
Travis doesn't have the bulk that teams are used to seeing in the linebackers these days. He is a bit of a tweener size-wise, but not in his play. Injuries will be the big concern for most teams and Travis has had a few of them; however, when he is healthy, he is a complete linebacker.
Travis is a defensive coordinator's dream come true. He is the type of player that mentally, you build your defense around. He is a coach on the field along with having the athletic talent to be one of the best linebackers in the NFL the day after you draft him. His size, or lack of it, will scare most teams away from drafting him too early. Most teams have safeties that are the same size as Travis. Travis needs to bulk up with a good strength and conditioning program in spite of the fact that he is a strong player and has excellent physical stamina right now. He just lacks that needed bulk to take the pounding at the next level. In the 2010 draft, Sean Lee wasn't drafted by Dallas until the 2nd round and I suspect Travis will have the same fate, but make no mistake about it -- Travis will impact the very same way Sean has impacted for the Cowboys. When Sean comes off the field, the Cowboy defense goes into withdrawal like a teenage girl trying to quit Facebook. A team that has struggled drafting linebackers and looking for leaders should jump through hoops to draft this kid in any round and not look back. I call him Travis (The Patch) Lewis because he will be the type of player the coaches will become addicted to. He is so smart and instinctive that he will allow your coaches to become addicted to making lazy game plans because he is so adept at making the right calls for them.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart DEC /11