Muench's Trenches: Interior battles
November, 8, 2013
By Steve Muench | ESPN Insider
Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan is drawing plenty of attention following the Wolverines' 29-6 loss to Michigan State, and not for all the right reasons. Don't expect his stock to dip despite the lopsided score and controversy. Separate the controversy from the tape and if anything he bolstered his first-round status.
Working against DE Shilique Calhoun and quick-twitch OLB Denicos Allen, Lewan struggled to counter the few times he overcommitted to the outside and the defender shot inside. That doesn't come as a surprise, though. He has never been an elite athlete and won more battles than he lost in pass protection thanks to impressive hand placement. It was game over once he got his hands inside and extended his arms. He also showed good balance and lateral mobility mirroring once locked on.
Driving defenders off the ball is Lewan's greatest strength, and it showed up yet again on this tape. He generates above-average initial surge thanks to a quick first step, he drives his legs though contact, and he has the killer instinct to put defenders on their backs once he gets them on the ropes.