With the No. 64 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts picked defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis out of Ohio State. Lewis was the last pick of the second round, and was picked up by the Colts via a trade with the Cleveland Browns.
So, why should you be excited the Colts drafted Lewis? We’ve got you covered:
1. A top sacker while at Ohio State
Lewis ended his Buckeye career as the No. 5 all-time sacker. After a freshman year that saw only .5 sacks, the remaining three years in Columbus showed Lewis’ consistency. He had eight sacks as a sophomore; eight sacks as a junior; and seven sacks as a senior, which was a season that saw him start in only 10 games. In his sophomore and junior years, Lewis started in all 13 games each season.
2. He’s versatile
Bouncing off the first point, Lewis’ knack for getting to the quarterback shows off his versatility. Regardless of how he lines up or the formation he’s put in, the Tarboro, N.C., native has proved time and time again that he can succeed.
Ohio State’s Jalyn Holmes and Tyquan Lewis will have some added value by being able to rush off the edge or kicked in at 3tech in subpackages... Both win here at 3T (also never seen 4 defenders meet at QB like this)..— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) April 22, 2018
Lewis reminds me of Brandon Graham in flashes... pic.twitter.com/CfqeyM2dPU
The tweet by Ben Fennell, who is one of the draft experts for the NFL Network, alludes to what Lewis could be at the next level. Brandon Graham was part of the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles, and has been part of the team since being drafted with the 13th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
That’s a good comparison, however, Graham went to Michigan and couldn’t beat his rival; Lewis, on the other hand, won every contest he was in against the Wolverines.
3. Consistent Improvement
With Sam Hubbard and Nick Bosa in the fold for snaps during the 2016-17 season, Lewis lost out on in-game chances. However, he showed improvement after the Buckeyes secured the Cotton Bowl victory in early January.
Weigh-in...— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) January 23, 2018
OSU DE Tyquan Lewis:
6-2 3/4, 276.
Looks like he weighs 250. Ripped.#SeniorBowl
In one last contest against other prospects hoping to increase their draft stock, Lewis put together a highlight reel in the Senior Bowl. In the tweet below, he continued to do what he does best: sack the quarterback.
Ohio State DE Jalyn Holmes with the SACK pic.twitter.com/qLOyaTUeBo— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) January 27, 2018
Constant improvement is what you want in a guy you draft. With Lewis, that’s exactly what you’re getting. If he keeps with the upward trajectory, he has the chance to move up from situational pass rusher, to a mainstay on the defensive line.
4. A hunger for the game
Leaving unfinished business on the table is something Lewis doesn’t take lightly. He graduated from OSU in December 2016, but used up his remaining year of in Columbus because, according to his draft bio from OSU, he was “hungry for more”.
Instead of following the scintillating lights of the NFL Draft—and the accompanying images of making money in professional football—he chose to make another run for a national championship. If someone has intrinsic drive, then it’s worth investing in them.
With Lewis being taken off the board, obviously this front office must see the same thing: drive isn’t a problem from for this Buckeye alum.
5. Rings, awards, and other things
We’ve gone over a quartet of reasons for why it’s an exciting time for Lewis to be drafted into the NFL. The fifth reason to be excited involves his previous successes.
Not everyone can win on the college level, but when they do, that experience—and the understanding of what it takes—is invaluable to a franchise.
Six championships were won in Lewis’s time as a Buckeye, including the 2014 College Football Playoff National Championship, two Big Ten Championships, and a trio of bowl wins.
Lewis already climbed the college football mountain, but the things he learned while donning the Scarlet and Gray will go a long way in helping his pro team in their quest for a Super Bowl.
Any concerns about Lewis?
One concern with Lewis on the D-Line is his ability to halt the running game. In the NFL, he’ll be facing some of the best running backs in all of football—which are much better than what he’d see week-in and week-out in the college game. If a running back makes a cut to the outside (or inside) of Lewis, will he be able to get his feet situated and make the tackle? His NFL.com draft profile weaknesses included “not a force against the run,” so we’ll see if that will change at the next level.
Some attribution to that weakness comes from being part of a rotational line that included Sam Hubbard and Nick Bosa. However, Lewis was drafted ahead of Hubbard, so the Colts front office saw something they liked in the North Carolina native.
How do you feel about the Colts trading the 67th and 118th picks in order to draft Lewis?
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