|Taylor Lewan (#77)|
Weight: 309 lbs.
High school: Scottsdale (AZ) Chaparral
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #77
Last year: I ranked Lewan #4 and said he would be All-Big Ten Second Team. He started all thirteen games and was named All-Big Ten Second Team by the coaches.
Lewan had an excellent season in 2011. He started every game at left tackle as a sophomore after starting nine games there as a freshman. He has continued to improve in almost every facet of the game, including leadership and cutting down on the mental errors. Last year he was one of two stellar offensive linemen on the team, along with David Molk (pictured above), and those two paved the way for two 1,000-yard rushers in Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Toussaint. Lewan also has the quick feet and long arms that programs covet for their left tackles.
Along with running back Toussaint, Lewan will be one to watch as a potential early entrant to the NFL Draft. Now approaching 310 lbs. and with his resume and steady improvement, there's good reason to believe that this could be his last season in Ann Arbor. Size has been a little bit of a question mark because he was very thin coming out of high school, but he has consistently put on weight from season to season and now has the bulk to approach the elite level of college tackles. I try to remain objective when it comes to Michigan players, but he looks like a future first round draft pick and a potential franchise left tackle. I can't picture NFL teams passing up on a guy like him; or perhaps I should say, you don't see guys like this get drafted in the second or third round. Some people might want Lewan higher on this list, but he has a capable backup . . . in the form of starting right tackle Michael Schofield. If Lewan were to get injured, Schofield would slide over to replace him; a right tackle is easier to replace than a left. But as long as Michigan State's William Gholston doesn't go all Ronda Rousey on Lewan, then hopefully he can stay on the field and protect Robinson's blind side.
Prediction: Starting left tackle; All-Big Ten First Team