Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis, who stands at 6’2 and weighs 233 pounds.
Linebacker seems to be a position that mock draft prognosticators have been targeting for the Giants as McColgan’s selection of Lewis makes him the third person to predict the Giants taking a linebacker in next year’s draft since I’ve been covering 2012 NFL mock drafts. The first linebacker mocked to the Giants was Arizona’s Vontaze Burfict and the second was Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o.
Can you really blame all these people for thinking the Giants might take a linebacker, either inside or outside? Travis Lewis has predominantly played outside linebacker for the Okalahoma Sooners so let’s take a look at the Giants outside linebacking depth:
-The OLB starters for the 2010 season were Michael Boley and Keith Bulluck.
-The back-up was Gerris Wilkinson.
-The 2011 NFL Draft produced two linebackers taken in the 6th round: Greg Jones and Jacquian Williams.
As you can see from that list of players there’s a spot waiting to be taken, either as a starter, since Bulluck won’t be there, or as a back-up, as that depth is pretty thin. Of course, these mocks are based on a season that hasn’t happened yet, so who knows what the Giants team will look like after this season. They might go out and sign a linebacker during free agency to take Bulluck’s spot that would erase any need to draft a linebacker in next year’s draft. We just have no idea what will happen.
What about Lewis though, you might be asking? Good question. Lewis is what most experts would call a tackle machine as he has the third most tackles by any linebacker during the Bob Stoops era in Oklahoma. The stat line for his most recent 2010 NCAA college football season is pretty impressive: 109 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and 3 interceptions. A linebacker who can make tackles is always welcome on any defensive front seven.
Lewis has also racked up some accolades during his Sooner career. In his freshman season he was named the AP’s Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year and the coaches and AP’s Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year and also made the AP’s All-Big 12 first team and the coaches’ second team. In his sophomore season he was named to the coaches’ All-Big 12 first team and the AP’s second team. In his junior season he made both the coaches’ and AP’s All-Big 12 second team. That’s a pretty impressive list of accomplishments and there’s no reason to expect Lewis’ play to decline this upcoming college football season. Now, whether that means seeing him trade in his Sooners red and put on the Giants blue next year remains to be seen.