Ohio State University
Listed Height- 6’3″
Listed Weight-265 pounds
Lewis is a redshirt senior this year at Ohio State, making himself one of the older and more experienced of the 2018 group. He wasn’t extremely highly recruited out of high school but was able to earn offers from big name schools, including obviously Ohio State. Redshirting his freshmen year as he probably wasn’t ready physically. He played in all 15 games of their 2014 championship run but saw limited action on defense, gathering only 9 total tackles and 0.5 a sack. He started every game as a redshirt sophomore though, finishing with 54 tackles, 14 TFL and 8 sacks. Last season as a junior he saw his production slip a bit but I don’t feel his level of play did. Ohio state has a stacked front 7 with some good rotation, not everybody can make the tackle. He ended up with 29 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 8 sacks and 3 FFs, starting in all 13 games. Despite seeing his production slip, he was voted Big Ten “D-Linemen of the Year” and is the Ohio State’s defensive captain.
Lewis is listed at 6’3″ 265 pounds but has short stalky arms. If you liked Carl Lawson (Auburn) from this last year’s draft, I think you have a similar player in Lewis. Lewis doesn’t have nearly the injury history of Lawson though, both win in similar ways. Not as explosive though I call Lewis a “momentum rusher”. He comes off the ball extremely well with some good explosion and takes a wide angle at the tackle. He then uses his powerful hand-work to rip outside of the Tackle’s grasp. He shows pretty decent dip and bend around the corner but nothing elite. If he realizes he can’t get the corner, you’ll see him load up for a strong bull rush. At times, he blows up linemen with it and gets them off-balanced, leaving him free to the QB. Most of the time though, he just collapses the pocket. I’ve seen ability from him to extend his arms on guys and disengage from O-Tackles. He typically hits the QB with some pop, forcing 3 fumbles last year. If he isn’t able to finish the sack, you’ll see him get his hands up in the passing lane and either tip the ball or alter the QB’s throwing motion. This lead to a fair amount of interceptions, I remember one specially against Michigan State last season that he altered, Gareon Conley (Raider’s 1st round pick) intercepted it to ice the game and win. At times he’s rushed from the interior, he can do it well but not something I see in his future as much. As a run defender he does well reading blocks. When the play is going to the opposite side, he shows a nice ability to get down the line and make tackles. On inside runs with linemen blocking down on him, he shows good ability to seal any outside run lane and often pushes the blocker into the hole inside. He does well containing the edge on outside runs to his side, it wasn’t often that I saw him get hooked.
Weaknesses/Concerns/Room for Improvement
All that being said, if you want to run directly at him, you can. I saw him quite a few times get driven out of the hole. As a tackler he does very well, wraps up through the ball-carrier and hits to punish. I question if he has the agility to counter inside on his pass rush. I saw him do it once against Michigan last year but it wasn’t the prettiest site. I’d say he’s pretty fast off the ball but I don’t think he can win with just quickness. Does he have the flexibility to redirect and still sack the QB if they step up in the pocket? I worry about him being a weak spot that I would have to compensate for in the run game. He gives it his all but he just gets blown off the ball if he’s ran at. I would like to see him add even more strength, would make him even harder to stop on his pass rush. How will he fair against good linemen with elite length? Watching him against Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) in 2015, he struggled. For him selfishly, I wonder why he didn’t just come out in the last draft. He seemed ready and balled out the last 3 games of the year against Michigan State, Michigan and Clemson. He’ll likely be one of the oldest rushers to come out next year.
Overall, you have to love Tyquan Lewis’ pass rush ability. He seems like a good teammate as well, despite Ohio State having a strong rotation he plays most of the game. Giving relentless effort throughout. You often see NFL teams pay too much attention to measurables and they’ll certainly look at Lewis’ arm length. Regardless, whichever team looks past his length and gets him will be very excited with what they got. I’d be surprised to see Lewis finish with less than 10 sacks this year and if he stays healthy he should be picked in the top 50.
Lewis wouldn’t be your traditional 4-3 DE. Like I said though he has some similarities to Carl Lawson, who I’m fairly certain will become a very good player. If you’re a Cowboys fan you have to hope that they look past the measureables and just take a really good player if he falls in the second. He would be more of the weak side DE as I don’t know if he could hold up against the run. He could also potentially give you some rush from the DT spot like we saw from Lewis Neal during the preseason.
Top 40 Potential
Top 100 ?
Highlights/2016 Games vs Michigan and Indiana