You can’t coach height. But you can sure as heck draft it.
And ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. says size is the only thing keeping Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis out of his projected first round in the 2017 NFL Draft.
“The height factor’s an issue,” the longtime draft guru said on a media conference call Thursday afternoon. “He turns, he runs, he does everything you want from a technique standpoint to be an elite corner in this league. The concern? First of all, there are other corners that are a little bit bigger. But I (saw) from week to week, (the) consistency over the last couple years … he was really up there with the top tier.”
The 5-foot-10 Lewis was credited with 11 pass breakups and 2 picks this past season for the Wolverines. The 11 deflections were tied for fifth-most in the Big Ten in 2016.
“I didn’t put him in the first round,” Kiper Jr. said. “I think he’s more of an early-to-mid (second round), but I think he’s got a lot of ability.”
CBSSports.com lists Lewis as the eighth-best cornerbacks prospect on the board, behind Big Ten peers such as Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore (No. 3) and Gareon Conley (No. 6).
Kiper Jr. is high on Wolverines defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow, too, likening him to Buffalo Bills defender Kyle Williams, a four-time Pro Bowl selection.
“I think Glasgow can be that type of player,” the analyst said, “if you get him on Day 3, even late Day 2.”