NFC East: Taylor Lewan

Cowboys Twitter mailbag, Part 1

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
IRVING, Texas -- Part 1 of the Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready.

In it we discuss:
  • What I would do with the 16th pick in the draft if I was the general manager.
  • What about a quarterback in the second round?
  • What about Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne?
  • What about the salary-cap implications of letting Kyle Orton go?

Away we go:
Yes, still one more month to go. Remember, the NFL pushed back this year's draft by three weeks because of a scheduling conflict with a new Easter show at Radio City Music Hall. So the first round isn't until May 8, which means another month of mocks and rampant speculation.

Speaking of which ...

The New York Giants hold the No. 12 pick in the first round of said draft, and they still have any number of ways they can go with it. The popular consensus at this point has them taking North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron with that pick. Sensible pick, as they need a tight end and I can't imagine they're too excited about continuing to go with year-to-year stopgaps at the position (especially if they are down to Kellen Davis already). But popular consensus a month out isn't worth much unless you have the No. 1 pick in Andrew Luck's draft, and this is clearly not the case here.

So where else could the Giants go with that pick?

Wide receiver: Mike Evans is another popular pick at this point, and a look at the Giants' offense on paper right now shows that Eli Manning could use some exciting new targets.

Offensive line: I like Zack Martin or Taylor Lewan here, because I think they need more long-term helpers in the pipeline at offensive line. Get someone you can imagine playing on the same line as Justin Pugh for the next 10 years.

Defensive line: Pitt's Aaron Donald has to at least be temping for defensive tackle after letting Linval Joseph walk.

Defensive back: Sounds crazy, but their draft history as well as their 2014 free-agent activity shows the Giants believe they can never have too many defensive backs. If there's one sitting there at 12 that they had rated in the top five or six on their board, they will think about it for sure.

Me, I go line -- one or the other. I think they should take the best lineman available to them at that pick, be it defensive or offensive. When you're picking that high in the draft, you look for building blocks, because the reason you're picking that high is that you need them. I could endorse a pick of Ebron or Evans on the basis that what they have at those positions right now isn't good enough and likely won't be good enough long-term. But you can say the same about the lines, and they're more important from a foundation standpoint. The Giants' problems are with their foundation.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan, a potential New York Giants draft pick, tried to clear his name Thursday in connection with a rape case that rocked his campus.

Lewan's former teammate, kicker Brendan Gibbons, was thrown out of school in December for reportedly violating the school's student sexual misconduct policies in 2009, when he was accused of rape by another student. The alleged victim accused Lewan of threatening her, claiming he said he wanted to rape her if she pursued charges against Gibbons.

Speaking before 20 or 30 reporters at the NFL scouting combine, Lewan insisted he made no such comment.

"It’s a situation between two people,” Lewan said, alluding to Gibbons and the woman. “I’ve said a lot of dumb things, but those are not things I’ve said. I would never disrespect a woman like that. I consider myself a guy who holds doors, not threatens people."

Lewan, widely regarded as one of the top three tackles in the draft, is projected as a first-round pick. He could be available for the Giants (12th overall pick), who absolutely need to upgrade their offensive line. The Giants are a relatively conservative organization, usually staying away from red flags. Obviously, they'd perform due diligence on Lewan.

On the field, there's not much to dislike. Lewan is a polished technician -- he actually returned to school for his senior year -- and he plays with a nasty streak.

"I think my strength as a player is, I like to think I'm very consistent," he said. "I definitely play through the whistle. I also think that's a weakness because everyone likes to comment on that. But I like to play through the whistle and put people in the dirt as much as possible."

Lewan has been known to take it too far. He was involved in a helmet-twisting incident against Michigan State's Isaiah Lewis, and he reportedly was investigated for possible assault after Michigan lost to Ohio State.

“I wasn’t in any fight,” Lewan said. “That’s not who I am off the field.”

Wake-up call: Combine, Day 2

February, 20, 2014
Feb 20
On the schedule for Thursday in Indianapolis:

Local media: New York Jets coach Rex Ryan (2:45 p.m.) and general manager John Idzik (3 p.m.) are scheduled for news conferences. The hot topics will be the futures of Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie; the draft and free agency; and the organization's first public comment on former Missouri DE Michael Sam. The New York Giants' media availability begins Friday.

Combine schedule: Placekickers, special teamers, offensive linemen and tight ends will undergo medical exams, measurements and team interviews. They also will be available to the media. ... Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs arrive in town. They will have a medical pre-exam, X-rays, orientation and team interviews.

Players of interest: The Jets (18th overall pick) and Giants (12th) both have a need at tight end, so North Carolina's Eric Ebron -- the consensus top player at the position -- will be a focal point among the New York reporters. Ebron has the ability to light up the combine -- on and off the field. He's confident and entertaining, once bragging that his speed should be "illegal." He will be asked about his weight in light of a recent report that he put on extra pounds in an effort to become a better blocker. ... The Giants need help at offensive tackle, so Thursday's media session will offer a chance to meet first-round possibilities, namely Michigan's Taylor Lewan. We know how the Giants love those Big 10 linemen.