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Comparing new Tennessee Titan Taylor Lewan to a top 2013 NFL Draft pick

Evaluating some potential that Lewan doesn't get credit for.

Gregory Shamus

For the people who think that Lewan was a reach but Luke Joeckel was a steal – I have some news for you. As I stated in a recent piece, their playing styles are actually quite similar.

Lewan is most known for his aggression and borderline antics after the whistle, while Joeckel was much more composed on the field. However, they both share some traits that could make them great offensive tackles in the future.

(The gifs I use here will include a the ones I put up in the previous post. Also Lewan is 77 and Joeckel is 78, both are LTs)

1. Putting DEs in "quicksand"

Some people call this quicksand, other people call it concrete, but the point is that the offensive tackle stonewalls a defensive end so well that the defensive end tries to pull/push the offensive line man but can't gain any ground. It means that the offensive tackle has locked down the pass rusher to the point where he has no leverage or ability to get away.

2. Blocking in space

Lewan is a great blocker in space that can pick up a defensive back or linebacker in space and neutralize him. Joeckel showed some of that in college including this play (even though it was a chop block).

3. Better than average run blockers when their technique is correct.

Despite most of what you hear, Jake Matthews was the technician at TAMU, not Joeckel. Joeckel struggled with pad level throughout his career and wasn't nearly as good at run blocking as his 2013 counterpart. Lewan also has issues with initial leverage (though his strength usually covers it up) but when it is correct he can easily dig a defender out of a gap.

4. Both excel at reach blocking and getting to the next level of the defense.

Despite having such large frames, both Joeckel and Lewan do a great job taking a quick bucket step and accelerating past a defender to get his inside shoulder. When that isn't available they are quick to recognize the need to go to the next level.

All in all they are similar prospects, but the TAMU team that Joeckel played on had substantially better coaching, better publicity, better overall talent, and a major viewing audience. It isn't shocking that Joeckel had more fanfare than Lewan going into draft day. Even though I was wary of Lewan at first (especially considering this off the field issues) the more film I watch on Lewan the more excited I get thinking about the offensive line for at least the next three years.