The Tennessee Titans welcomed another Taylor to Music City on Thursday night, however this one is known for his nastiness and mean streak instead of his singing ability or glamour.
Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan wants to deliver big hits on Sundays as the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
“How I would describe myself as a player is I want to be a person who plays as hard and fast and as nasty as I possibly can,” Lewan said in a conference call. “I want to be one of the toughest guys on the field and get to the point where a guy I’m going against doesn’t want to play in the fourth quarter.”
That sounds great, but one question can’t be ignored: When will Lewan play?
The Titans already have a durable left tackle in 10-year pro Michael Roos, even though he’s heading into the final year of his contract. Earlier this offseason, the Titans signed former Ravens tackle Michael Oher to a four-year, $20 million contract to play on the right side.
Titans general manager Ruston Webster said Lewan is worth waiting for, although coach Ken Whisenhunt said Lewan will be given a chance this offseason to compete for a starting job.
“You want (a first-round pick) to make an immediate impact, you’d love for him to,” Webster said.” The key is their impact is over the course of their career. … It is important that it’s somebody that can be long-term and I think Taylor can do that.
“That left tackle position is almost like taking a skill position in the NFL – they are athletes. When you take a guy as big as he is and ran a 4.79 (in the 40-yard dash) – that’s amazing. I think (fans) will enjoy watching him play and probably the less his name is called, the more they’ll like him. That’s usually the way it is at that position.”
The 6-foot-7, 309-pound Lewan, who started 49 games at Michigan, was the third tackle drafted, behind Auburn’s Greg Robinson (Rams) and Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews (Falcons).
He’s known for his physical style of play, but also for his athleticism, quick feet and football savvy.
Last year, their first-round pick was guard Chance Warmack, just a month after they signed guard Andy Levitre to a $46.8 million contract. The Titans also have their center of the future in Brian Schwenke, a fourth-round pick last year.
Lewan, who was credited with 362 key blocks/knockdowns in four seasons at Michigan, faced Clowney in the 2013 Outback Bowl.
Before selecting Lewan, the Titans saw some intriguing players go off the board.
UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, who was projected to the Titans in numerous mock drafts, went ninth overall to the Vikings. A pick later, the Lions took North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron.
Would the Titans have drafted either player? Webster wouldn’t say. He did acknowledge he fielded some interest from teams about a trade, but nothing materialized.
Lewan was too good to pass up, according to Webster.