ESPN’s draft analyst Mel Kiper has spoke to “several NFL Clubs” who have Michigan OT Taylor Lewan rates as the No. 2 offensive tackle in this year’s draft class behind Auburn’s Greg Robinson.
“In terms of going two, it’s not out of the question,” said Kiper, via Chris Brown. “If they (St. Louis) do take a tackle he’s right there with Robinson. You could make an argument that he’s better than Robinson, which right now he is. Robinson might have bigger upside, but Taylor Lewan really benefited by going back for his senior year. If he doesn’t go there he could go to Oakland at five, definitely to Atlanta at six. I don’t think he gets past six.”
Matt Miller of the Bleacher Report confirms that the hype surround Lewan is “real” adding that he has also confirmed with an NFL team that they have him rated higher than Matthews.
Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune mentioned last week that he “told” the Raiders value Lewan over Robinson.
Gifted with exceptional abilities as a run-blocker, Kiper believes that the progress Lewan made as a pass-blocker in his senior season as the key contributor to his jump over Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews.
“His pass protection skills have improved where you weren’t beating him last year,” said Kiper, via Brown. “He’s got great feet, balance and hand punch. He battles and fights. He can get after you as a run blocker. To me Lewan is a nasty, tough street fighter. He’s a battler.”
We have the Raiders opting for Matthews at N0. 5 and Lewan going No. 6 overall to the Falcons in our most recent 2014 NFL Mock Draft.