When Will Alabama Linebacker Terrell Lewis be Selected in the 2020 NFL Draft?

Christopher Walsh

There hasn't been much talk about former Alabama linebacker Terrell Lewis by draft experts this spring, which is probably due to two things. 

1) There isn't enough available information about him, and ... possibly ... 

2) NFL teams are deliberately being quiet about Lewis in hopes he gets overlooked.

Physically, Lewis is a freak, and we mean that in the best of ways. He's 6-5, 262 pounds, with long arms and great quickness off the edge.

In terms of pure talent, Lewis is first-round worthy. He could be the kind of NFL edge rusher offensive coordinators have to game-plan around.

However, there's also his injury history. Lewis missed nearly all of the 2017 season with a torn elbow ligament, and then 2018 with a torn ACL. Just when he was beginning to get in a groove last season he suffered a hyperextended knee at South Carolina.  

That's not only a big red flag to talent evaluators, but severely hampered his development.

Unfortunately for Lewis, it'll probably keep him from being a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23-25. 

When writing up his draft profile for NFL.com, Lance Zierlein compared Lewis to free agent linebacker Andre Branch, who was a second-round selection by the Jaguars in 2012. 

"The evaluation requires both projection and a small leap of faith due to durability concerns after he missed most of two full seasons," Zierlein wrote. "He needs to fill out his long, athletic build with more girth and muscle to help set stronger edges and hold his ground against downhill rushing attacks. 

"He's played in just 26 games, so he's less technically sound than most Alabama defenders at this stage, but he was still productive and showed growth as a player in-season. With more coaching and development as a rusher, he should be able to pair traits with skill to become a future NFL starter, provided his health issues are in the past."

The medical evaluation at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine was crucial for Lewis, although those results only go to teams. 

He recorded jumps of 37 inches (vertical, seventh best among linebackers) and 124 inches (broad), but opted to hold off on the 40-yard dash until Alabama's Pro Day — which was obviously never held due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

• Sports Illustrated has him rated No. 41 on its latest big board, and fifth among edge rushers behind Chase Young of Ohio State, K'Lavon Chaisson of LSU, A.J. Epenesa of Iowa, and Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State.

• In his latest four-round mock draft, Chad Reuter of NFL.com had Lewis going 40th overall to the Houston Texans.  

• ESPN's Todd McShay first two-round mock draft had Lewis selected 58th, with the Minnesota Vikings using him to replace Everson Griffen. He has Lewis rated 59th overall, but in a tier of players going from No. 44-62 (a tier means the players are comparable in talent, the selections are based more on team needs). 

 ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Lewis as the fourth-best outside linebacker behind Isaiah Simmons of Clemson, K'Lavon Chaisson of LSU and Zack Baun of Wisconsin. 

• In his latest position rankings, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com dropped Lewis from No. 4 among edge rushers, to outside of the top 5. 

However, one thing that may work in Lewis' favor is that he's only 21.  

Another is his potential. For a lot of teams looking for an outside linebacker the decision may come down weighing that against a safer pick like Braun, who had 12.5 sacks last season.

So what does Lewis think of all the projections? 

See for yourself:

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