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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  • jack_sprat2

    If these are the so-called “lessons” which NFL teams draw from the Incognito/Martin affair, then they are even more clueless than is the owner of the Miami Dolphins. The league is FILLED with dirtballs like Richie and Taylor; Miami blew up, not so much because of the presence of one such, but because its HC hadn’t the sense God gave to a two-year old and its former GM was in denial that his own playing days were over.

    Get this straight: Most NFL locker rooms have multiple would-be bullies in them. A few even have “sensitive souls” like Jonathan Martin, playing the part of chum in shark-infested waters. Once upon a time, more often than not, the HC would’ve done what Philbin did; sick Alex Karras on his ass. Toughen up or quit, period. The only people who would have had a problem with that would’ve kept their own mouths shut, lest they attract the attention of bullies themselves.

    Times change, like it or not. Today, only a clueless fool would do what Philbin allegedly did. A smart coach now rides close herd on guys like Richie, proactively avoiding problems. Instead, this tool actually put Richie IN CHARGE of his position group, making him the “go-to” guy, should a player have a problem. What’s worse, that seems to have been general knowledge in the Dolphins locker room, which Martin surely knew. So, from jump street, Jonathan sees that almost every door is closed to him.

    What does he do? Well. he tells his agent, who relays the information to the GM, who beats his own chest, clean forgetting that he’s no longer just another guy in the locker room, himself. Rather than fulfill his duties as an executive, guarding his team from potential trouble with the league, the public, and the law, our intrepid Tarzan has his own mid-life crisis.

    The last door slams closed. Cue the orchestra and lower the lifeboats.