Barnwell: No AFC OT has better Hall of Fame chances than Taylor Lewan
By Will Lomas
Why Taylor Lewan is one of the best OTs in the NFL.
The Tennessee Titans have one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL in Taylor Lewan, and Bill Barnwell thinks he has the makings of a good case for the Hall of Fame.
In a recent article on ESPN, Barnwell broke down each team’s players with cases for the Hall of Fame into four tiers: Locks, likely, in the running, and work to do.
Lewan has generally been one of the more underlooked players in the NFL because people generally tend to focus more on his penalties than his actual play. Despite the fact that the two aren’t proportional, it is the one thing that people tend to grab on to when they want to diminish what the former Michigan Wolverine has done in the NFL.
Still, it is nice to see him recognized as one of the two AFC OTs who made the rankings at all.
Barnwell didn’t focus too much on Lewan’s resume, but I can fill in some blanks.
He referenced Lewan having 3 Pro Bowl appearances, but I can almost guarantee that he would have made the list over players like Orlando Brown Jr. and Trent Brown based on how heavily the Titans leaned on that line this past season.
Excluding 2019 when he was ineligible and his rookie season where he was drafted to be the eventual replacement for Michael Roos, that means that Lewan made the Pro Bowl in three of his first four seasons including three straight.
During his career as a starter (including last year when he wasn’t eligible) here is where he ranked among OT selections:
–Tyron Smith, 5 selections (NFC)
–Trent Williams, 4 selections (NFC)
-Taylor Lewan, 3* selections (AFC)
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–Lane Johnson, 3 selections (NFC)
–Andrew Whitworth, 3 selections (both)
That is a pretty impressive group to belong to and the two players above him were ranked highly in the “future Hall of Fame” rankings.
Lewan has blocked for the AFC’s leading rusher twice, and the NFL’s leading rusher once in his career as a starter. On top of that, both running backs ran better behind Lewan and more frequently.
Schematically, the Titans also ask Lewan to do a lot more often allowing help from the tight end, running backs, as well as line shifts to go to the right side while he fights off the other team’s best pass rusher on an island.
Lewan is on the right path and he has had a relatively short career, so the best is yet to come and with one of the best offenses in the NFL, the Titans should be able to get their offensive line a lot more attention in 2020 and beyond.