The Newest Titan - 05/09/14
I met Taylor Lewan about an hour and a half ago for the first time. For those of you who aren't familiar with Lewan by now, shame on you. You obviously aren't a real Titans fan. I'm kidding. The left tackle certainly isn't a sexy 1st round pick. He is however, a surprise. If you read my previous blog, you see he was no where on my radar. I didn't see anyone else who had him pegged for the Titans either. Most draft gurus figured he'd be long gone by number-11.
Lewan came across to me as smart, personable and poised. Confident in himself and his abilities. Very media savvy. He described himself as "having a nasty streak," "playing through the whistle" and not being afraid to "set the tone" or take a penalty to protect his quarterback in particular.
He also was at times self-deprecating while at the same time being full of conviction. There is no question in my mind he will be a leader of the offensive line someday, if not one of the leaders of the team. It's easy to see why he was a captain at Michigan. He not only had a great career on the field for the Maize and Blue, but in many ways was the face of the program.
Unfortunately, there are also several red flags. And I'm not just talking about Lewan's penchant for personal fouls. Off the field, he's had a pair of issues that are disconcerting. As a freshman in 2009, he allegedly intimidated a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by one of Lewan's teammates. He's currently facing one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault and battery. He has a court date set for May 19.
Lewan is confident that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing in his latest brush with the law, just as he was in 2009. Titans GM Ruston Webster is also confident that the 1st round pick's character is not, and will not be an issue moving forward. We'll see.
I've heard this before. Remember Pac-Man Jones back in 2006? How did that turn out?
Listen, I'm not comparing Lewan to Jones in any way, shape, or form. The left tackle handled himself very well when asked about these issues, not dodging any questions. He remained poised and honestly, impressed me with his reaction and responses. But it is something to keep an eye on. Actually, let's hope it's not.
Let's hope we can talk about May 8, 2014 as the day the Titans drafted their next Hall-of-Famer, not their next convicted felon. Taylor Lewan appears to have characteristics in him to be both. Time will tell.