Feb 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Taylor Lewan speaks during a press conference during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins Shouldn’t Draft Lewan


Rumor mills are swirling as we officially enter into NFL Draft season. This week, Miami Dolphin fans took notice of Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan.

At the beginning of the season, Lewan was considered a top-7 pick, maybe even higher. He drew comparisons to Jake Long and there’s little wrong with that. After a less-than lackluster season for the Wolverines, Lewan’s stock fell, but the combine has brought him back into the conversation. While he isn’t considered a top-7 pick anymore, he’s still thought to be a top half first rounder and a steal if the Dolphins can pull it off.

Stop.

I’ve watched Lewan closely for the last three years as a student at the University of Michigan. At the beginning of the year he was the hot name, obviously, and everyone considered quarterback Devin Gardner’s blindside to be taken care of. Well, it wasn’t.

The offensive line, while not the only thing wrong with Michigan this season, was definitely the biggest issue. Gardner received no protection and while, yes, there are four other men on the line and Lewan was easily the most impressive, that isn’t saying much.

The Dolphins don’t need another linemen like Lewan. I’m not sold, and neither should Miami be. This past season, Lewan unquestionably regressed and at times went backwards on the maturity scale. He’s considered immature on campus and after Miami’s lineman fiasco is this really what they want? NFL.com’s draft profile on him says he has a quirky personality that can be easily misunderstood. Great, just what we need right now.

On a production level, Lewan’s weaknesses include being highly penalized, needing to not only rely on his natural ability and adapting proper footwork. He also struggled to battle quick, crafty defenders and has a tendency to drop his head at contact. He often got pushed back, shrinking the pocket for Gardner.

And like Ryan Tannehill, Gardner had a tendency this season to hold onto the ball too long and that kind of quarterback isn’t a great fit with Lewan.

Yes, Lewan has talent, don’t get me wrong, but Miami can’t afford to use their first round pick on a lineman who isn’t more polished. Lewan didn’t start playing left tackle until late in high school and I’m not sold on him being ready at a high level in the NFL.

Maybe I’m wrong, and if Miami drafts him, I hope I am, but Lewan isn’t Long. He’s just not.

Tags: Miami Dolphins NFL Draft Taylor Lewan

  • Garrett

    Sorry but I disagree he would be a great fit for just about any team. If you think he was a weak link on that line you have no football knowledge. The middle had 0 game experience and Gardener held onto the ball way to long when decent protection was given. Whole team sucked last year starting with coaches! Lewan will be a great pro just hope the Lions don’t reach at 10.

  • Bernie Shorts

    Gutsy analysis for a Wolverine. I think Lewan will be long gone before Miami drafts, so it is probably a moot point.

  • Johnny

    He actually had a great combine and is climbing higher in the draft… There is no way he will even come close to pick #19… (unless there’s a trade up)

    • Johnny

      Plus Lewan is a LT and that position will be full come Free Agency… Other then Robinson, Mathews, and maybe Lewan.. There will be no “franchise LT” after those 3 LTs… Miami will go big on Albert or Monroe (if Baltimore is stupid enough to let him test the market)

  • tpl

    No issue because Lewan will be gone. Miami might be able to draft David Yankey with the 19th selection, and get the top guard.

    • Miami Jules (Julian)

      I also have Yankey and Richardson, but the post combine rankings just dropped Yankey and Richardson into near the 2nd round so if the draft was held tomorrow, we could actually be better off if we traded down. The second round is now full of talent.

  • Miami Jules (Julian)

    Great observation! I have actually been flirting with the idea of to Lewan or not to Lewan since back in in December when I stated to look forward to next season. Back then Lewan was within reach and because of the comparisons made to Jake Long were too tempting to ignore I started to look at his tape footage. I really liked what I saw. Later on, amid more allegations of dirty playing and penalties, I had a change of heart and decided to stay with Kuoandjio (back in Dec. Kuoandjio was, however briefly, ranked higher than TL)> During the combine, I had yet another change of mind, not because I’m ignoring the points you’re making, but because as a rookie who would be coming into a “reformed” locker room, he would be at the bottom of the feeding chain, thus, with a good disciplinarian structure in place, those bad habits that result in penalties etc. could change. Now, he went even higher in the rankings, so unless we trade up we wouldn’t stand a chance of drafting him.