Friday, April 6, 2012
Draft preview series: Oklahoma DE/OLB Ronnell Lewis
By Bryan Broaddus and Tim MacMahon
The 20th installment of our draft preview series focuses on Oklahoma defensive end/outside linebacker Ronnell Lewis
Scouts Inc. ranks: No. 3 outside linebacker, No. 48 overall
Bio: First-team All-Big 12 last season after making 59 tackles (13 for losses), 5.5 sacks, five pass breakups and an interception. Had 37 tackles (five for losses), 3.5 sacks and an interception he returned for a touchdown as a sophomore. Was a 2,000-yard rusher as a junior and senior in high school, when he played eight-man football. Struggled academically throughout his time at OU and was ineligible for the bowl game this season, prompting the coaching staff to encourage him to declare for the draft.
Oklahoma DE/OLB Ronnell Lewis was first-team All-Big 12 last season after making 59 tackles, 5.5 sacks, five pass breakups and an interception.
Broaddus Breakdown (viewed Florida State, Texas and Texas A&M games): Started his career at Oklahoma playing defensive end, but the defensive staff moved him to a hybrid position which I would call a strong side linebacker. Started nine of 10 games in 2011. … Has always struggled with his grades. Questions before the season whether he would even be eligible. Might not love school, but you can see that he loves to play football. … He never stops coming at you, is always on the attack and explosive up the field. Has the ability and skill to get on the edge of the blocker but will need to develop more pass rush moves to work with that explosiveness. … Can get up to top speed very quickly. Did a nice job of getting up the field and dipping his shoulder to get around the tackle against Texas. … Powerfully built player who uses his strength to his advantage. Was really impressive when he was used as a pick in a twist to get a teammate home on a rush against the Longhorns. Drove so hard down inside that it destroyed the blocking scheme and gave the defensive tackle a clear path to the quarterback. … Good job of playing against the run because he has strength. But make no mistake about it, his ability to run allows him to get in on a lot of plays. … Quick to get off the ground when he gets cut. Teams need to account for him on the backside because he will chase the ball. … Missed a tackle in space against Florida State when he didn’t wrap up but is a physical tackler. Ball carriers know he is there. … Will take on blockers, shed and fold back inside to make plays. Saw one time where he didn’t show good awareness and it caused him to get pinned inside against Florida State. He didn’t read correctly when the tight end came in motion and on the snap, got position on Lewis, allowing the ball to the outside. … Have observed him as a drop linebacker, but I really don’t think you want him to do this very much. Would have to say that movement and awareness are the biggest problems here. Need him to put his hand on the ground and let him get after it. … Is a junior that left Oklahoma early after the coaches encouraged him to. His struggles in the classroom probably had a great deal to do with that. However, he loves to play the game so that is a positive trait. … Has the strength to play as a strong outside linebacker and give you something as a rusher. Think he will need some work with moves but has some game to work with.