Red Flags With Taylor Lewan?February 19th, 2014
Joe doesn’t understand why some Bucs fans are abhorrent to drafting a tackle. The Bucs’ offensive line last year wasn’t anything close to the Oakland Raiders’ of the 1970s.
That why Joe is OK with drafting a tackle. Yeah, Joe agrees drafting a guard at No. 7 is a big-time reach.
No, Joe is not jumping on the Donald Penn-is-all-that-is-wrong-with-the-world bandwagon. He played OK last year. Could he play better? Sure. Penn was hardly the problem with the Bucs offensive line. There may not be a better dude on the Bucs than Demar Dotson. He’s one of Joe’s favorites, but he’s a marginal player. Too often he gets bull-rushed like a blocking sled.
That’s why Joe is bullish on a tackle. And one guy to look out for could be Taylor Lewan. Though he is projected to be a first-round pick, Lewan has just enough of a mean off-the-field history that he could slide.
Erik Oehler of National Football Post took a look at all the lines Lewan has crossed, one will make you cringe, but Oehler isn’t totally scared off by Lewan.
Risk: 4/10 (MEDIUM-LOW) – Lewan is difficult to judge. I don’t believe there is enough off-field to have to worry about him getting into trouble there, but it’s still in my mind. The 2009 threat allegations, if true, are psychopath-tier behavior, but as no charges were ever filed, I can’t factor it into the risk too much. And I’m completely dismissing the assault allegations as there, once again, wasn’t enough substatial evidence to press charges. On the field, his passion may get him into trouble in the NFL. The league is less tolerant than ever when it comes to personal fouls (ask Ndamukong Suh). Lewan’s draft stock took a hit in 2013 for sure. But he’s still incredibly physically gifted, and doesn’t have enough red flags where teams will pass on him for too long.
It could be that Lewan is still growing up. Oehler noted that as a sophomore, Lewan got constantly flagged for numbskull personal fouls, among others, but every year since he has been penalized less and less.
Could Lewan drop to the second round? A lot depends on his interviews, and he will get grilled about his off-the-field bullying, especially in the light of the Richie Incognito nonsense.
This is a guy to keep an eye out for on the first night of the draft. He could freefall.
Remember, Penn, 31, is a free agent after the 2015 season. He’s not getting any younger. Why not get a guy now and start grooming him in case Penn can’t answer the bell in what is now the not-so-distant future?