Jourdan Lewis 2017 NFL Draft Profile

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Via Last Word On Pro Football, by Matt Minich

Overview
Position: Cornerback
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 186 pounds
School: Michigan Wolverines

Jourdan Lewis 2017 NFL Draft Profile

Jourdan Lewis has a wealth of college experience, having played four years at Michigan and started 30 games at cornerback. In his time in Ann Arbor, he totaled 133 tackles, six interceptions, and set a school record for pass breakups with 45. He excelled in his senior year, winning the Big Ten’s Tatum-Woodson Award given to the best defensive back in the conference and being named a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award given to the nation’s top defensive back.

When you watch Lewis play, there are moments when he loses position on the receiver and you think he is beat, but as the ball approaches it is as if he hits another gear and suddenly he makes a play on the ball. Lewis has excellent ball skills and has made some extraordinary plays on the ball in his career.

Lewis’ speed and athleticism give him the potential to be a shutdown corner in the NFL, but he will need to clean some things up. He does not effectively jam and impede the receiver’s release at the line of scrimmage in press coverage. He is also prone to turning his hips too quickly in this coverage. His hips are quick enough that he can afford to be more patient. He frequently loses position on a receiver while defending vertical routes because he is looking for the ball. He has gotten away with this in college because of his incredible closing speed, but he will not be able to do this against top receivers in the NFL.

Lewis is a strong all-around player who can lineup on slot receivers as well as on the perimeter. He is a good enough tackler to be given run defense responsibilities as well. Although he is a corner, he has the speed to cover the whole field which may make him a fit as a free safety in the NFL.

Strengths

  • excellent closing speed.
  • makes plays.
  • great ball skills.
  • good hands.
  • solid tackler.
  • smooth runner.
  • flexible hips – can turn and run.
  • can lineup inside or outside.
  • returns kicks.

Weaknesses

  • frequently out of position.
  • smaller than NFL teams desire.
  • allows free releases in press coverage.
  • flips hips too quickly in man coverage.
  • not overly physical.
  • looks for the ball when he is not in phase the receiver.

NFL Comparison: Champ Bailey

Teams with Need a Position: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans

Projection: Second Round

Bottom Line

What strikes you most about Lewis is his incredible speed. His speed is elite and due to this fact, he is never out of a play. Outside of that, he is a solid all-around player without any glaring strengths or weaknesses. He is versatile enough to have a home in the NFL particularly playing in nickel and dime situations and defending slot receivers. He could potentially develop into a high level NFL corner due to his physical tools, but he needs to develop his man-to-man coverage skills. He is good enough all around that he could be plugged in based on need and game plan. He is rangy enough that he may also project as a free safety for teams that run a lot of single high safety looks.

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