Taylor Lewan   OT   Michigan

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

STRENGTHS
Taylor has excellent athletic talent to be a Pro Bowl right tackle for the next level. He has excellent size and upper body strength as well as strong leadership skills. He works well with his line mates and shows the mental stamina needed to succeed at the next level. Taylorís athletic talents overall are solid. He has good feet, strong hands and uses solid techniques when he gets his hands on his opponent. He has decent quickness out of his stance, but his true strength is his ability to never to give up and to recover mentally when he struggles. Taylor could play Left Tackle for the team that uses a vertical play action type of offensive system (in a pinch), but his impact position for the next level will be at the Right Tackle position and he should be a good one. He reminds me a lot of Brian Bulaga (OT Packers), only bigger.

CONCERNS
Taylor is much improved over last year in his conditioning and that alone has improved his overall play. He still has to become more consistent. He needs to study his opponents -- their strengths and weaknesses -- and rely less on the fact that he is bigger than most players he goes up against. He struggles to move his feet once engaged with his opponent and relies on his upper body strength too much. When he does this, he loses balance and leverage which is why he doesnít finish his blocks when run blocking as well as loses his man when pass blocking. He has decent feet, but he lacks the lateral agility to be a pure left tackle at the next level. Once he gets it through his head to move his feet more once he engages his opponent, his run and pass blocking will become more consistent. A drill he should work hard on is to run up the steps and DOWN the steps of the stadium to get his feet and mind moving together. The quicker he learns to go down the steps, the better he will be moving his feet. That foot movement will transfer to his blocking skills and improve consistency on the field.

BOTTOM LINE
Taylor gets frustrated in a game when he starts to get tired and feels he is getting beat. This happens because he relies too much on his upper body and not enough on his lower body once he gets engaged. He is very susceptible to swim moves because just before he run blocks, he drops his head into his opponentís chest which lowers his body, gets him off balance and makes it easy to swim around him into the backfield. All of that is correctable and Taylor has the attitude to correct it, but he will need good coaching and he will have to believe in new techniques and use them on every down, even when he gets beat. He will also have to accept the fact that all good offensive linemen get beat and have bad games. He must learn to turn the page, stay with his techniques, keep his balance, keep his head up and commit to his blocks mentally when he goes to the second level. Taylor has the potential to be an excellent right tackle. He has the leadership skills and in the new pass happy, pass catching NFL, right tackles are becoming almost as important as left tackles because more and more of them are not being covered up on third and long downs. A playoff team has to be looking hard at drafting Taylor in the first round, I would think. I donít think for a moment he will last until the second round and I would be looking at drafting him in the first if I was playoff team.

Drew Boylhart
Dec/2013