The NFL combine is an odd spectacle. Grown men run around in way-too-tight outfits, doing drills that attempt to simulate football. It’s hard to tell who is going to be a better pro player than others, but sometimes a player excels so much at the fake football that you can’t ignore him. This year one of those players is offensive tackle Taylor Lewan.
Lewan, a bruising left tackle prospect from Michigan, was previously third on everyone’s list of available tackles. And, it wasn’t even a close third, he was considered clearly behind both Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson. Now, after a dominant performance at the combine, he’s drastically shrunk that gap, maybe even obliterated it altogether.
Lewan led all offensive lineman with a 4.87 second 40-yard dash, the best broad jump at 117 inches and the fourth best 3-cone drill time with 7.39 seconds. While not everything about a prospect can be gleamed watching them go through skills tests, but it does show that he has the raw talents to be an elite NFL player.
Projected to go sometime in the mid to late first round prior to the combine, Lewan’s stock will likely go way up after his impressive stats this weekend. Plenty of teams either late in the top-10 or early in the teens need help on the offensive line. He could end up going to someone like the New York Giants at pick No. 12, or someone like the Miami Dolphins could trade up to take him.
The combine can sometimes make or break a prospect’s draft stock, and every year there are players who see themselves jump way up team’s boards after an impressive performance at the annual rookie showcase. This year, Lewan could be that guy.