Name: Tyquan Lewis
School: Ohio State
Position: Defensive End
Lewis uses good hand strength and quickness to get to his opponent and bring him to the ground. Strength and form is a big component to Lewis’ game because he is not the best athlete on the field. He relies on textbook tackling and putting himself in the correct position to get to the quarterback and tackle any rushers coming his way.
Lewis’ technique stems from a great first two steps. He plays with a solid lean in his frame that is used to get past his opponents and speed rush them. After that, he possesses good bend in his knee that allows him the flexibility to get past the tackle when attacking the quarterback. When faced against a guard, he can often be too quick for them and excel. However, not being the best athlete makes Lewis have to perfect his technique to win at times.
Lewis is best described as quick-twitched, not fast. As stated above, he has a great first two steps. At the NFL level, getting off the line of scrimmage quickly is a must, and Lewis possesses that ability. However, after the first two steps off the line, Lewis does not have great acceleration. Lewis can struggle when he needs to change direction during the play.
Lewis, along with most college players, will need to improve in the play recognition area. Lewis is a consistent push rusher that put up at least seven sacks in three seasons. However, he is not a force in the run game, and that is where he needs to develop. The next step for Lewis is to learn how to set the edge better and stop running plays before they can develop. But he is skilled in knowing how to get to the quarterback. Lewis knows he cannot rely on his sub-par athleticism to get to the quarterback, so he uses a quick first two steps and has the ability to bull rush an opponent.
Lewis has been a team captain for two years for the Buckeyes, and is seen as one of the leaders on the team. After winning the Big Ten Lineman of the Year Award in 2016, most figured Lewis was off to the pros. But he was “hungry for more” and decided to return for a fifth season. That is the type of player Lewis is. He is never satisfied and wants to win. He is a player that is going to come to practice and perfect his craft every single day. One of his best strengths is his aggression and will to win.
Lewis’ fit for the Vikings will come down to whether they see him as a defensive end or a tackle in their scheme. Clips of Lewis getting to the quarterback lined up as a tackle in the Buckeyes “Rushman” package will definitely interest teams. However, the fact that he is not a huge factor in the run game yet might end that idea. The Vikings of course have Everson Griffin and Danielle Hunter in the fold right now, but the need for more defensive ends is apparent. Brian Robison has his days coming to an end soon so drafting a few ends in this 2018 draft is a big need.
Lewis is never going to be a prospect that is going to jump off the screen to you, but he is extremely efficient. At least seven sacks in three seasons is great consistency. He has been First-Team Big Ten for two seasons now and ranks fifth all-time in sacks in Ohio State history, with 23.5. Lewis also helped himself with a great Senior Bowl, where he added a sack and was all around the quarterback.
With other needs such as offensive linemen and defensive tackle, defensive end is probably not a position the Vikings will target very early. But, with the Senior Bowl performance, Lewis has established himself as a mid round pick. The combine will be huge for Lewis. He has the physical ability to dominate the strength areas, but teams will be interested to see how he runs in the 40 and how he does in short agility runs. If he is available in the fourth round, he is a guy the Vikings could target.
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