Tim Tebow, John Simon and Tyquan Lewis. What do those three players have in common? According to Urban Meyer, they are “three of the toughest guys I’ve ever been around.” High praise for the former Ohio State pass rusher, who might not be flashy, but his toughness and make-up are ideal for the NFL level.
A three-year starter at Ohio State, Lewis has been a constant of the Buckeyes strong defensive line play in recent years, spending most of his time at right defensive end, but spent time across the line, including inside at nose tackle. He was part of Ohio State’s “Rushmen” package in 2017, along with Sam Hubbard, Jalyn Holmes and Nick Bosa, designed to get the most pass rush talent on the field.
Lewis is average athletically and won’t scream off the edge as a pass rusher, but he uses his hands well to work through bodies. His effort plays will diminish vs. NFL speed, forcing him to become a more punctual pass rusher and assignment sound run defender.
A four-star defensive end recruit out of high school, Lewis, who was a high school teammate of Todd Gurley, helped lead Tarboro to three straight 2A state championships his first three seasons. He earned all-state honors as a senior with 13 sacks and led Tarboro back to the state title game, losing to East Lincoln. Lewis narrowed his college choice to LSU, North Carolina, Ohio State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, choosing the Buckeyes.
After redshirting in 2013, he was a reserve on the Buckeyes 2014 National Title Team, posting 2.5 sacks. Lewis became a starter as a sophomore (13 starts) and led the team with 8.0 sacks, adding 54 tackles and 14.0 tackles for loss to earn All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors. He started all 13 games as a junior and recorded 29 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks and three forced fumbles to Big Ten Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten honors. Lewis returned for his senior season (10 starts) and finished with 20 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks and two forced fumbles, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight year.
Filled-out frame with a broad chest and thick trunk. Drops his hips, extends his reach and bullies blockers. Technically sound hands to work off contact. Flashes power in his upper body to press blockers from his rush lane. Shuts down creases in the run game with initial momentum. Makes his target feel it when he arrives, forcing five fumbles the last two seasons. Student of the game and works hard to hone his craft. Graduated with a degree in sociology (Dec. 2016). Two-year team captain with top-notch intangibles and toughness that will earn him points with NFL coaches. Steady production as a three-year starter, finishing top-five all-time in Ohio State history with 23.5 sacks. Experienced lining up all over the defensive line. – Dane Brugler 1/21/2018
Tightly-wound with average-at-best flexibility. Lacks twitchy burst or bend to make sharp turns around the corner. Charges at blockers without a coordinated rush plan. Labors in pursuit. Too content ending up where the blocker wants. Late to leverage the point of attack. Slow to see plays develop and routinely loses outside contain. Inconsistent finisher once he reaches the backfield. Tackle and sack production declined since his sophomore season. – Dane Brugler 1/21/2018
COMPARES TO: Adrian Clayborn, Atlanta Falcons – Lewis doesn’t have the same NFL ceiling as Clayborn, but he has the well-rounded skill-set and toughness that mirrors the veteran defensive end.
IN OUR VIEW: Lewis isn’t a dynamic rush threat, which lowers his ceiling as a NFL player, but he competes with the technique, toughness and character to play in the NFL for a long time.