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Monday, April 28, 2014
Ravens draft primer: Taylor Lewan

By Jamison Hensley

With 10 days until the NFL draft begins, here is another potential draft prospect for the Baltimore Ravens:

TAYLOR LEWAN

Position: Offensive tackle

School: Michigan

Height/weight: 6-foot-7, 309

Round projection: First

File this away: Lewan added 50 pounds since his senior year of high school, when he made the switch from defensive end.

Good: Lewan has the size, speed and athleticism to become a starting left tackle in the NFL. He's rated as the third-best offensive tackle prospect by Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. Lewan combines a great motor with a nasty streak. No team is going to find an offensive tackle with more game experience (four-year starter in Big Ten) and more quickness (posted best 40 time of any offensive lineman at the NFL combine). There is a high ceiling for Lewan, who has only played this position for five years.

Bad: Lewan is dealing with a couple off-the-field issues. His arraignment on one charge of aggravated assault and two charges of assault and battery is currently set for nine days after the draft. Lewan has also denied allegations that he intimidated a woman in 2009 who said she was sexually assaulted by one of his former teammates. On the field, Lewan is considered more of a finesse blocker than a mauler. He won't drive defenders in short-yardage situations. Lewan is still raw as a technician and will commit penalties because of that.

Bottom line: It's highly unlikely that Lewan falls to the Ravens at No. 17. But you can't rule it out completely because teams could be scared off by his off-the-field incidents. Most believe Lewan will go No. 6 to the Atlanta Falcons, and Kiper wouldn't be surprised if the St. Louis Rams selected him at No. 2. If Lewan somehow slid to the Ravens, they would jump at the chance to take him. He's got the awareness and agility to be a perfect fit in the Ravens' zone-blocking scheme.

What Lewan said: “I don't know if I have swagger. My main focus in my game is to give my running back an opportunity to gain yards and give my quarterback the opportunity to be successful in the pocket. My job doesn’t get me highlights or stuff like that. I love doing what I do, whether it's right tackle, left tackle, center or guard. It doesn't matter as long as I have the opportunity.”