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2019 NFL draft: Introducing Drew Lewis, one of the East-West Shrine Game’s top risers

NCAA Football: Colorado at Southern California Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2019 all-star circuit officially in the books, we’re starting to hear about the big risers that came out of the several showcases. One such riser was Colorado’s Drew Lewis, who participated in the East-West Shrine Game.

Lewis leaves the Buffaloes after three productive seasons in which he totaled 167 tackles. A versatile play maker with sideline to sideline speed, Lewis was often described as the freakiest athlete in the room.

Lewis spoke exclusively to MCM about his experiences at the East-West Shrine Game, how his football lineage motivates him and why an NFL franchise should use one of their draft picks on him.

JM: You were named one of the big winners at the East-West Shrine Game. What was the overall experience like?

DL: It was a great experience from the start. I was able to room with one of my teammates at Colorado, Evan Worthington. We were together most of the time. We got to meet new people from all over the country. We found that we had all these similarities with other players, no matter where they came from. That’s always an interesting thing to me, being able to relate to other players. From a recruiting aspect, I spent a ton of time with the scouts in attendance. They came out in bunches to every practice. I talked with a lot of different teams and got to share my story with them. Hopefully it improved my chances of playing in the NFL next season.

JM: Speaking of your story, I want to touch on your lineage a little. Your dad Will played cornerback for the Seahawks and he later served as the director of scouting for the Chiefs in 2016. Your cousin Louis Riddick is a pretty famous analyst at ESPN. You have some other family members who played at a high level as well. Is it safe to say you were born into the family business?

DL: It sure feels like I was born to play football. The funny thing is that growing up, my dad never pushed football on me. I didn’t even start playing until I was in the sixth grade. He wanted me to stick to baseball actually. You mentioned my strong football roots. It feels like it’s in my blood almost. I hope that I can continue the family tradition.

JM: What’s the best piece of advice any of those guys have ever given you?

DL: I would have to say that it came from my dad. This is back when I was starting to get looks from the different colleges. He made sure that I realized somewhere out there in the world, there’s gonna be someone competing just as hard as me if not harder than me. In the long run, it’s not just the people in the room with you. It’s all over the world. You can never really settle. I’ve always kept that in my mind. I realize that someone out there has the same dream and they’re working just as hard as me. That keeps me going.

JM: It sounds to me like although they supported your decision to pursue football, you never felt pressured to do so.

DL: Exactly. That’s a good thing in my opinion. I always felt I had the right and freedom to pick and choose. Once I started getting interest from different colleges, there was never a doubt in my mind. That freedom was important though. It helped me relax a little bit. I’m happy with how it all turned out.

JM: No doubt. You play the linebacker position. Which players did you admire growing up?

DL: Growing up, I thought I was gonna end up playing defensive back actually. I always thought I was gonna be a safety. I played safety in high school, so that’s probably why. I looked at Kam Chancellor. He was probably the biggest idol I had growing up. I love his style of play. His body type was similar to mine, we were both tall safeties. Once I started playing and looking at linebackers, I looked at guys like Cory Littleton. He obviously balls out on special teams but he can play both inside and outside. He does it all. I feel like I play like him. Su’a Cravens was another guy.

JM: What’s your favorite part about playing linebacker?

DL: If you’re really doing it all as far as playing both the run and pass goes, that’s a lot of fun. I feel like I have an advantage because I’m able to do both. The days of the typical run stopping linebacker are long gone. Not everyone is Ray Lewis. Nowadays, my advantage is my sideline to sideline speed. I can play the run at the same time. I can play in the box and make tackles at the line of scrimmage. I like doing it all with my athletic ability.

JM: That brings me to my next question. I read an article on NFL.Com that mentioned you as one of the freakiest athletes in all of college football. Tell me about that and which areas you feel you excel in as an athlete?

DL: I feel like the reason I was named to that list was thanks to my testing numbers. My broad and vertical jump are pretty impressive. I run a good 40 yard dash as well. As far as how it translates onto the field, it proves that I have that quick-twitch ability. I can diagnose the play as soon as the ball is snapped. I have the instincts and athletic ability to quickly react. I have the ability to play in coverage and stop the run. My teammates always referred to me as the freakiest athlete in the room. My testing numbers definitely stood out to a lot of people. It translates onto the field as well.

JM: I love that right there. Thanks a lot for your time tonight Drew. In closing, tell our readers why an NFL team should use one of their draft picks on Drew Lewis?

DL: I think an NFL team should invest into me because of my versatility. I’d love to enter the league as a rookie and show out all over the field. I have the ability to be a special teams ace right out of the gate. I hope to play on every special teams unit. I have experience with all of that. My football I.Q. combined with my athletic ability keep me motivated to work hard and succeed on the field however a team would like to use me. That’s why a team should invest in Drew Lewis.