NFL

2014 NFL Draft: Taylor Lewan’s Stock Affected By Richie Incognito

Taylor Lewan's future may be hurt due to Richie Incognito

Christian Petersen – Getty Images

It’s nearly impossible to head to a sports site without seeing references to Richie Incognito. As the NFL Combine goes on, players are poked and prodded both physically and mentally. Former Michigan Wolverines offensive tackle Taylor Lewan has the physicality to be a beast up front, but thanks to Incognito, NFL franchises are smart to be wary.

Lewan not only let Ohio State Buckeyes get under his skin during Michigan’s most recent clash, resulting in personal foul penalties, he’s also not adverse to twisting facemasks during and after plays as shown during his last encounter with the Michigan State Spartans. His run-ins with Buckeyes may not be limited to the football field as he also allegedly assaulted an Ohio State fan.

ESPN’s Jason Whitlock chimed in on Lewan’s 2013 performances, saying “he’s resorted to cheap shots and bullying because he failed to adequately prepare to have a dominant senior season.” Sound like anyone we know?

There’s also an alleged 2009 incident where he intimidated a woman who was sexually assaulted by former Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons. Lewan was never arrested or charged due to either incident, but any NFL executive who says these possible events won’t be taken into account is lying.

Incognito’s career is up in the air due to the Ted Wells report and a track record that precedes his eight years in the NFL. Thanks to his actions, he may have grabbed onto the former Wolverines player’s leg and dragged him down some teams’ boards. Lewan is a projected first-round pick, trailing only Jake Matthews from the Texas A&M Aggies and Greg Robinson from the Auburn Tigers.

Depending on how Lewan’s interviews go at the combine (and you’d better believe comparisons between him and Itchie Richie will come up), he could find himself slipping into the second round. His eventual team should be more than thankful that the rookie salary cap went into effect. Even if he does mirror Incognito, the organization that rolls the dice won’t have a massive burden on their shoulders.

Simply put, Lewan needs to ditch his sketchy play or he’ll be classified as a cancer early enough to almost torpedo his NFL career immediately.

Brandon Cavanaugh is a Big 10 writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @eightlaces, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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