The countdown is coming into the home stretch -- are you getting nervous about whether your favorite player made the top 10 or if they didn’t make the list at all?
No. 9: Taylor Lewan, LT, Michigan
Previous ranking: No. 7
The case for Lewan: The No. 9 spot on the list is by no means a bad spot to be. However, several Lewan fanatics are likely to be upset not to see the fifth-year senior listed higher.
He passed up the NFL and millions of dollars last season to return to Michigan for his final season of eligibility. He was elected by his teammates as a captain, making him the only offensive captain this season. However, the offense never really got to a place in which it played well consistently and some of that has to lay on the leadership. The Wolverines were 11th in the Big Ten with 374 yards of offense per game.
One of the bigger deterrents for Lewan this season was not that he struggled individually, but that he was surrounded by quite a bit of youth and inexperience. While he might not have allowed a sack all season, the Michigan offensive line allowed 36 sacks, including seven each to Michigan State and Nebraska.
However, when quarterback Devin Gardner wasn’t getting sacked, he wasn’t getting a lot of time in the pocket either. Even with a player as talented as Lewan on the line, the Wolverines only averaged 3.3 yards per rush (No. 113 in the country, No. 11 in the Big Ten) and couldn’t find a consistent lineman to run behind.