Taylor Lewan is a very talented player. There is little doubt in my mind that he has the ability to be a solid left tackle for this franchise for the next decade. From that standpoint, it is hard to argue with the pick.
HOWEVER, it is impossible to ignore the issues he had off the field at Michigan. Let me start off by saying that he has not been convicted of anything to this point. He does still have one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault or assault and battery pending against him according to ESPN. He is scheduled to appear in court on those charges on May 19th.
Those charges stem from a fight that Lewan says, according to that article, is a misunderstanding. He claims he was trying to break up the fight and a guy accused Lewan of hitting him. You can bet that the Titans will be keeping a close eye on how that plays out.
The more serious incident, in my mind, was back in 2009. The Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons was kicked off the team after he was accused of sexual assault. Lewan is connected to that event because the alleged victim claims that Lewan threatened to "rape her" if she went public.
Lewan, of course, has denied that he ever said this. Here is what he had to say about that accusation at the combine:
That’s definitely a situation between those two people," Lewan said. "I’m not here to protect Brendan. I’ve said a lot of dumb things, but those are not things I’ve said. I would never disrespect a woman like that. I consider myself a guy who holds doors, not threatens people.
I don't know what to make of these two incidents, but, as the old saying goes, where there is smoke there is fire. Apparently there wasn't enough smoke to concern Ruston Webster. Hopefully he knows what he is doing here.
From a Titans football perspective, the important thing is that he has learned from these situations and will not put himself in similar situations in the future. With that being said, it is going to take a while for me to be comfortable cheering for this guy.