Over the last few days, I’ve delved into his film. Here’s what I found:
In my opinion, Lewis has one of the biggest weaknesses a defensive lineman can have. That weakness is being slow off the football. Continuously watching this play, you’ll notice that Tyquan Lewis is the last player off the football. The only way he gets up field is by beating Erik Magnuson, who struggled with inside leverage all year, with an inside move. Either way, Lewis didn’t look prepared on this play, at all.
This play is a simple pass rush being executed by Lewis. Again, he’ll get inside on Magnuson, but he struggles to execute any type of technique. It’s a quick step outside to inside, and this allows him to straight rush the quarterback. There’s zero movement from his hands, and he doesn’t touch or engage the offensive lineman. It’s understandable that not every pass rush will be perfect. However, if you don’t go through the basic mechanics from engaging or working your hands, then what good can come from it? The answer is nothing.
On this particular play, Lewis is lined up in a 7-technique. He’s tilted off the edge, and his point-of-attack is the outside shoulder of the right tackle. If it’s a running play where the running back gets the ball, then Lewis has to get leverage on the right tackle and squeeze him down. This prevents a running lane from forming between the right guard and right tackle. If he plays it tight enough and the running back bumps to the outside, then he should be able to string it out and make a tackle. Finally, if it’s a passing play, then Lewis will have to get hip-to-hip with the right tackle and follow through his technique. That technique would be to post-club-rip. Engaging the offensive tackle and having active hands is always important when rushing the quarterback.
Displaying proper balance and bend, Lewis gets the best of the right tackle. This was by far the best play I had seen from him in two games. He followed through his technique from start to finish, and ultimately, it led to a sack.
Like I mentioned, this play ends in a sack. Lewis follows through with everything he needs to do and makes a huge play. You won’t see this from him on every play, though, and quite frankly, you won’t see it very often. His best games from the 2016 season were against Indiana, Maryland, and Michigan State. Overall, those three games included 12 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
The biggest flaw I see with Tyquan Lewis is that he lacks consistency. From being too slow off the ball to not following through with his technique, he has a lot to work on. He doesn’t display elite strength or athletic ability, either. Where would he rank on my defensive ends list? Far from the top, but not at the bottom.
Possible Bills Fit
If the Buffalo Bills were to pass on a defensive end in the first round, I believe that Tyquan Lewis could be a fit for them, whether it be in the later part of round two or the middle of round three.
Mainly, he’d be a fit for the Bills because of how limited they are off the edge. From a size perspective, he fits in with what the Bills have listed on their roster. Lewis is listed at 6’3″ and 260 pounds. With those measurements, Derek Barnett comes to mind from the 2017 NFL Draft. Statistically, Barnett is the better prospect among the two.
From a scheme perspective, Lewis is an ideal fit for a weak side defensive end in a 4-3 defense. Periodically, the Buckeyes do send a stand up defensive end off the edge, but Lewis doesn’t play from the position. As mentioned, mock drafts at this time are irrelevant. However, I hope this analysis gave you a clearer understanding of a potential target for the Buffalo Bills and their future NFL Draft plans.