Inside The Bills

Kiper: Lewan is #2 offensive tackle

Posted by Chris Brown on April 28, 2014 – 1:59 pm

A bit earlier in the pre-draft process the top three tackles were widely projected as Auburn’s Greg Robinson, Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews and Michigan’s Taylor Lewan, in that order. After talking to several NFL clubs Kiper says it’s Lewan second and Matthews third and he believes Lewan could be off the board by pick six.

Kiper even thinks Lewan could go as high as pick two to St. Louis.

“In terms of going two, it’s not out of the question,” said Kiper. “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.”

Kiper believes Lewan’s improvement in pass protection in his senior season is a big factor in his superior ranking to Matthews on a good number of team boards. That’s not to discount Matthews, who is a very accomplished tackle in his own right. It’s just that Kiper sees Lewan as superior and believes his nasty on field demeanor makes him more attractive as well, especially to the Falcons with the sixth pick.

“His pass protection skills have improved where you weren’t beating him last year,” said Kiper. “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.

“For Atlanta they could use some of that physicality. They didn’t have that. They were too finesse, too passive. That Falcons line was one of the worst in the NFL last year and Matt Ryan and Steven Jackson paid the price for that. Lewan with his attitude and approach would make a lot of sense for the Falcons at six. Lewan for the Bills at nine I can’t see him dropping that far.”

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