Lewis' senior season didn't start off the way he would have preferred, as he missed the first three games of the year due to injury. His play over the ten games in which he played, however, earned him first-team All-American notice from multiple outlets. Lewis was also a Jim Thorpe Award finalist and the Big Ten Conference Defensive Back of the Year (25 tackles, 3.5 for loss, two interceptions, nine pass breakups). He was a 13-game starter as a junior, making 52 tackles, 3.5 for loss, two interceptions, and 20 breakups, which ranked third in the FBS. Lewis averaged 25.2 yards on kick returns in 2015, as well. He earned a starting corner job three games into his sophomore year (39 tackles, 1.5 TFL, two INT, six PBU), and contributed as a true freshman in 2012 (17 tackles, two PBU).
Ultra-competitive with an overwhelming drive to succeed. Allowed just seven catches in 2016 for completion percentage against of 23.3. An annoyance from press coverage. Squats on top of his target waiting to punch and impede. Twitchy feet can stick and close to ball instantly when he reads pass. Able to flip hips and accelerate quickly. Has lateral quickness and agility to flourish from the slot. Has adequate recovery speed to make up for an early mistake. Finds ball with back to quarterback as well as anyone in college. Maintains tight coverage downfield and waits for receiver's eyes to cue him in on when to turn and find it. In three years as a starter, credited with 42 passes defensed, including six interceptions. Allowed just two touchdowns during same time frame. Showed off ball skills and athleticism with highlight reel, one-handed interception against Wisconsin. Has special teams experience as a gunner and in return game.
Diminutive frame. Limited in coverage options due to matchup concerns against elite NFL size. Has to work overtime to disengage from physical wideouts in run support. Tape shows small delay in reaction when attempting to mirror an inside release. Tendency to grab if beaten early off the line. Penalized 14 times over career with eight pass interferences. Will allow his man a head start past him when he starts reckless eyeballing the quarterback from off coverage. Might lack necessary spring to win 50-50 balls at the high point.
Sources Tell Us
"If he were bigger he would go in the first round. Love everything about the way he plays. He's cocky and tough and doesn't take any (expletive) from anyone. And sub-package teams will love him because he won't kill you against the run." -- Director of scouting for NFC team
Technician with the foot quickness and overall athleticism to handle himself from the slot. Shouldn't be much of a detriment against the run for teams who want to attack on the ground from 11 personnel. Excels from press and plays with confidence and edge. Lack of size will scare some teams and could cause him to fall out of the first round, but he has the ability to become a very good slot corner for a man-cover team. His draft projection is based on a pending legal issue.