The 2016 NFL Draft is full of twists and turns. Every so often when covering draft prospects, there is a player that has a bigger connection to you personally. While I do not know former Falcon wide out Roger Lewis, we both share a college alma mater, Bowling Green State University. Since #MACation is a part of my weekly Tuesday in-season tradition, I have watched many of his 2015 games including ones against Georgia Southern, Toledo, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, and Memphis. Those gave me insight into what skills and abilities he can bring to the next level. Here are my thoughts:
WR-Roger Lewis, Bowling Green 6′ 201 lbs.
Cons: His character is a huge question mark. This former four star recruit originally signed with Ohio State, got charged with rape, and was found not guilty while pleading to a lesser charge. Lewis, by all accounts, has stayed out of the headlines since; but will need to go to a team with a strong, none permissive coaching staff to blossom. Because of his legal troubles, the former Falcon only has two years of college play, which is evident when reviewing his limited route concepts. He, at times, fights the ball into his body, instead of catching it cleanly. Lewis is also an emotional player who tends to get overly excited, which occasionally causes him to lose focus. Bowling Green was extremely pass-heavy, so his numbers are a bit inflated.
Pros: This highly athletic play maker can get to full acceleration within two steps, and is also blessed with running back-like quick feet, changing directions almost effortlessly with a spin more or two thrown in. He sells double and triple moves that leave defenders flat-footed. Lewis tracks the ball well in the air and does a great job running underneath to make downfield catches in stride. The receiver attacks the ball in the air at its highest point by out-leaping his coverage. Sometimes, the wide out simply wants it more as I have watched him knock sure interceptions out of defensive backs hands, only to have the former Falcon snare the ball while never breaking stride. Lewis is not just a glorified deep threat; he makes receptions in the middle of the field coming up with most contested passes by boxing out defenders. There is a lot of untapped potential left with him.
Overall thoughts: This receiver is not fully developed with only two years of college play and has some character issues, but got blessed with amazing athleticism. He reminds me quite a bit of a smaller version of the Jets Brandon Marshall, who also took some time to get acclimated before making his mark in the NFL. While it could be my Falcons blinders, I see Lewis as a top fifteen, almost top ten rookie receiver option.
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