It wasn't too long ago that Ronnell Lewis was considered one of the best pass-rushing outside linebackers in the 2012 NFL draft. A relatively pedestrian performance during the 2011 season caused his draft stock to plummet.
Lewis didn't do himself many favors during offseason events either.
With that said, the Oklahoma product does provide what teams covet: an ability to get to the quarterback. He should be a value in the mid-rounds and could go as high as the late second round.
This article is going to focus on a few different strengths and weaknesses as they relate to the linebacker prospect and his ability to succeed in the National Football League.
Ronnell Lewis has an explosive first step off the line of scrimmage, consistently blowing past blockers at the point of contact. This is something that NFL teams salivate over. It is also a primary reason that I believe Lewis will go much higher than he should.
The Oklahoma product possesses that ability to get into the offensive backfield on a consistent basis going up against slower offensive tackles. This was a continuing theme of the tapes that I did watch of Lewis in college.
It is fine and dandy to have one consistent pass rush move in the college football. This wont work in the National Football League where offensive blocking schemes are molded to counteract a single move.
Ronnell Lewis isn't dynamic, nor does he have a full arsenal of moves that enables him to get into the offensive backfield consistently.
It is pretty much a speed rush and nothing else.This needs to change if he is going to be an impact player at the next level.
Ronnell Lewis is not a scheme specific player. He can contribute with his hands down at the line or playing with his hands up as an outside linebacker.
This enables Lewis to play in both the 4-3 and 3-4 defensive schemes. He can move to the line in obvious passing situation and be counted on to cover from the linebacker position when need be.
Considering that this doesn't limit the amount of teams that might take a look at Lewis, it is extremely possible his name could be called in the second round.
NE Patriots Draft had the following to say about Ronnell Lewis as it relates to his lack of production, "For all his physical gifts the production has never been there for Lewis." I couldn't agree more.
In watching tape of the talented defensive player I noticed that he would disappear in games on a consistent basis. Some of this had to do with a lack of pass rush moves, while some of it had to do with being somewhat inconsistent in other aspects of the game.
It is hard to argue against statistics and Lewis didn't fill up the stat lines too much. He recorded a total of 5.5 sacks in 10 games before suffering a season-ending injury against Baylor last season.
Ronnell Lewis will bring it every single time, never taking a play off. Opposing blockers are going to have to be on their game consistently in order to stave off the talented pass-rusher. If not, he will be a force in the offensive backfield.
Lewis continues to churn those legs just as much in the fourth quarter as he does on the first play of the game. He doesn't seem to tire out too much and plays with incredible passion.
This shows up on tape and I am pretty sure NFL scouts have gotten the memo.