One of the toughest players to predict in this year’s draft class is Michigan’s Taylor Lewan. If he declared in 2013, the left tackle would’ve likely been a top-ten pick. But a subpar 2013 season paired with some character concerns have been detrimental towards Lewan’s draft stock as a whole. Although the Dallas Cowboys’ select was historically bad in 2013, the Cowboys may want to hold off the defense to take a chance on a player like Lewan.
Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick were monumental towards this offense’s success in 2013. The main problem last year was the right side. Mackenzy Bernadeau started because Brian Waters had a triceps injury. Next to Bernadeau was Doug Free. In 2010, the Cowboys gave Free a huge contract extension. After the 2012 season, he decided to take a pay cut or else he wouldn’t be on the roster going into the 2013 NFL season. Last season, Free started out exceptionably well. Towards the end of the season, Free had trouble staying with defensive ends. Another thing to remember is that Free is still getting paid good money.
Things got interesting when Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com reported that the Cowboys would be open to moving Free inside to right guard. After all, at 6’6″, 320 pounds, his skillset is similar to a guard’s. If Dallas moves Free to guard, drafting a tackle becomes a real need. Lewan put on a show at the NFL Scouting Combine, showing he was the most athletic tackle in all of college football.
I have already said how I would love to draft a tackle early in the draft if a good one falls. Zack Martin is also another tackle option. In my opinion, Martin is the better player right now, but Lewan has more potential. The right tackle position is usually the anchor in the running game. Lewan’s athleticism tells me that the right tackle position would be the perfect place for him. If Dallas decides to pick a tackle, Lewan wouldn’t be a bad pick by any means.