NFL Mock Draft 2014: Baltimore Ravens Select Taylor Lewan

Joe Robbins

With the seventeenth overall pick in the 2014 Canal Street Chronicles community mock draft, the Baltimore Ravens (represented by Tee Word) select...

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

The Ravens are one year removed from hoisting the Lombardi trophy, but you can hardly tell because of extreme roster moves following their title run and some funny business in the offensive backfield (courtesy of Runningback Ray Rice). In spite of some very obvious pay-based non-signings in the 2013 offseason, the Ravens kept most of the offense intact and picked up a niece piece on defense in Elvis Dumervil. The biggest issue to overcome was the loss of leaders Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and the Ravens stumbled to an 8-8 finish, missing the playoffs.

The truth of the matter is that the Ravens suffered the dreaded SuperBowl hangover  and lacked locker room leadership to rally like they did the season before. The issues were on both sides of the ball, but a noticeable problem was in the run game.  A cold weather, power running team from the AFC North saw a decrease in run production. Some will say it was Rice showing some wear and tear and Bernard Pierce being a young runner. It seems the Ravens felt that there were line problems (low run production and 48 sacks allowed) and let rock solid right tackle Michael Oher walk in free agency.

As luck should have it, this draft has quite a few quality offensive tackles who will be available when the Ravens pick at #17. Taylor Lewan from the University of Michigan is exactly what the doctor ordered - a nasty, aggressive run blocker and pass protector. Obviously, Lewan has been a left tackle for the Wolverines, but he would be a solid fit at right tackle for the Ravens.

Before we look at why he is a good fit, let's address the obvious pending legal issues on Lewan's record. For those who are unaware, Lewan was involved in an altercation after Michigan played Ohio State last season. He's facing three assault related charges which actually makes it logical that he'd be available when the Ravens pick. Lewan will go to pre-trial on May 19, not long after the draft. It is possible that his pending case will make teams shy away, but don't be surprised if they don't.

The point here is to convey a few reasons why the Ravens should pick Lewan and plug him in at right tackle immediately (isn't that what you do with first round OTs?). The tangible evidence is there for all to see as Lewan earned two first team All Big Ten honors and a first team All America honor as well. In addition, the film on Lewan has a strong positive ratio of productive plays versus negative plays. As a run blocker, Lewan attacks his targets aggressively and blocks through the whistle regularly. In pass protection, Lewan is flawed but not in a way that is uncommon to most OTs of his status. On most plays, Lewan engages pass rushers and can use his strength to outmuscle the average defender. Against stronger defenders who use a bull rush or power moves, Lewan will lose because he does not extend his arms properly and loses leverage and balance. That said, his technique can be tweaked slightly and a move to right tackle would help the transition to the NFL. My final verdict is that Lewan would be an excellent plug and play option for the Ravens.

***

Thanks to all the CSC members who participated in this year's community mock draft. Without your help, none of this would be possible.

Below are the complete results from our community mock draft.

Catch up with all of the mock draft selections in our 2014 CSC Community Mock Draft Hub.

Pick Team Selection Team Representative Approval Rating
1 Houston Texans QB Teddy Bridgewater - Louisville
Tee Word 30%
2 St. Louis Rams DE Jadeveon Clowney - South Carolina Kevin Sean Held 57%
3 Jacksonville Jaguars QB Johnny Manziel - Texas A&M Alex Swift 59%
4 Cleveland Browns WR Sammy Watkins - Clemson Shadow Flash 80%
5 Oakland Raiders LB Khalil Mack - Buffalo Khannar 71%
6 Atlanta Falcons OT Greg Robinson - Auburn Dave Choate 80%
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Blake Bortles - UCF russty 31%
8 Minnesota Vikings CB Justin Gilbert - Oklahoma St. JackMarzullo 50%
9 Buffalo Bills OT Jake Matthews - Texas A&M Letloosethedogsofwar 88%
10 Detroit Lions WR Mike Evans - Texas A&M Monkey Poop Battle 49%
11 Tennessee Titans LB Anthony Barr - UCLA Lostastic 60%
12 NY Giants TE Eric Ebron - UNC Khannar 78%
13 St. Louis Rams S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - Alabama hooahsaint2.0 74%
14 Chicago Bears NT Aaron Donald - Pittsburgh BlackandGold4ever 82%
15 Pittsburgh Steelers NT Louis Nix III - Notre Dame saintmanumit
16 Dallas Cowboys DE Kony Ealy - Missouri Ryan Edwards
17 Baltimore Ravens OT Taylor Lewan - Michigan Tee Word
18 NY Jets
Monkey Poop Battle
19 Miami Dolphins
Letloosethedogsofwar
20 Arizona Cardinals
Alex Swift
21 Green Bay Packers
BlackandGold4ever
22 Philadelphia Eagles
organictallman
23 Kansas City Chiefs
coldpizza
24 Cincinnati Bengals
coldpizza
25 San Diego Chargers
Lostastic
26 Cleveland Browns
Shadow Flash
27 New Orleans Saints
Dave Cariello
28 Carolina Panthers
Ryan Edwards
29 New England Patriots
Shadow Flash
30 San Francisco 49ers
saintmanumit
31 Denver Broncos
Alex Swift
32 Seattle Seahawks
saintmanumit
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