28 April 2012
With the 16th pick in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL draft, 223rd overall, the Lions selected Travis Lewis, a 6'1 1/2", 233 pound OLB from Oklahoma. A 4 year starter for the Sooners, leading the team in tackles his first 3 seasons, Lewis posted 83 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack his senior year, which was derailed early on by a broken bone his his left foot.
Lewis started every game of his 4 year Sooners career, is 3rd in OU history in career tackles with 445, 3 time 2nd team all Big 12, and won Big 12 Freshman of the Year. So why was such an acclaimed cllege player available to the Lions in the 7th round? Speed, a lack of it.
Lewis ran a 4.88 40, third lowest among linebackers, at the NFL combine. He ran a 4.75 at his Oklahoma pro day, but it wasn't enough to convince teams he was a mid-round selection, as daftniks had speculated going into the 2011 season.
Tough, productive college linebacker with limited upside. Displays a terrific head for the ball, instinctive and quick to react. Chases the action hard, takes good angles to plays and remains disciplined with assignments. Fluid moving laterally, makes plays out to the sidelines and relatively effective in space. Squares into ballcarriers and wraps up when tackling.
Lewis is a player who may not have all the physical tools (ie: straight ahead speed), but he's a heady football player who has gotten has far as he has on effort. Considering his pedigree and productivity playing at the highest levels if college ball, I wouldn't bet against Lewis making his mark on the Lions on special teams and as a backup linebacker.
Travis Lewis highlights:
Lewis in the 2010 Big 12 championship game:
So the 2012 NFL Draft is finally, thankfully over.
After drafting offensive players in the first 2 rounds of the NFL Draft, freaking out Lions fans worldwide, rounds 3 through 7 were a defensive sweep for Lions. The final draft tally was 1 offensive tackle, 1 wide receiver, 3 defensive backs (rounds 3, 5 and 6) and 3 linebackers (rounds 4, 5 and 7).
The Mlive contingent should be damn happy tonight.
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