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Countdown to Colts: Defensive Lineman Tyquan Lewis

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

We’re just four players into our Countdown to Colts series and with that our fourth defensive player in the front seven. This time up, with ninety-four days until the Colts’ season kicks off, defensive lineman and rookie Tyquan Lewis.

The Journey

Before making his jump to collegiate football, Lewis was a four-star recruit for the Tarboro Vikings. In high school he won 21 games in a row and three consecutive North Carolina Class 2A state championships. Lewis ended his senior year with a bang, tallying 13 sacks, and was named to the Associated Press all-state team.

As a Buckeye, Lewis was an eclectic athlete in an extremely successful program. In 44 total games, he racked up 112 tackles, 37 tackles for loss and 23.5 sacks. His best season was in 2015 as a sophomore, when he had 54 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and eight sacks. While his numbers did decrease steadily since his sophomore year, I credit that to an addition of depth at the position by Ohio State and not because of a decrease in performance. Lewis was selected by the Colts with the 64th overall pick in the second round in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Fit on the Roster

Stacking up with the other defensive lineman on the roster, Lewis is the third youngest — older than just Tomasi Laulile and Kemoko Turay — and the second buckeye to belong in the front seven, joining John Simon.

Lewis is yet another face for the 4-3 defensive scheme that is underway in Indianapolis as a speedy, lengthy body on the defensive line. If you put him on the outside as an edge, he has great bend in the knee to wrap around the corner and get to the quarterback. If you put him in the interior of the line, his quickness and hand strength is overbearing for guards.

Moving Forward

While I don’t think it will happen day one, I believe Lewis has a strong chance to become a starter in the NFL beyond his rookie season. He drastically needs to improve in the running game, which is why I find he’ll serve as primarily a situational rusher next season, but he will get a chance to grow and develop consistent rush moves as the Colts look to solidify the depth in the front seven.