Holy moley, some of our best players are leaving for the professional ranks! Whether it be money, fame, or an opportunity to live in Oakland, a few of the most memorable Ole Miss Rebel footballers are making their way out of Oxford to play ball on the next level. What would their potential money-stuffed suitors like to know about each and every one of them? We at the Cup know!
Kendrick Lewis - Free Safety
40: 4.63 at Ole Miss Pro Day
Rebel Career Stats:
Led team in tackles during junior and senior years
As a senior, led team in tackles (84), solo stops (57), forced fumbles (3), and blocked kicks (2)
Six career interceptions
Fluid hips for a free safety; plays the ball in the air quite well; good hands; sure tackler
Lacks elite speed; not a heavy hitter
Kendrick Lewis showed glimpses of that ideal centerfielder at free safety. At times in games during his final two seasons, opposing quarterbacks didn't even try to throw it in his direction, and when they did, it was a mistake. While his production defending the pass decreased a little bit as a senior, he was still very helpful to the team. In the Cotton Bowl matchup against Oklahoma State, a game that could have gone either way, Lewis intercepted two passes and forced a fumble. He was the difference in the game. Lewis, a New Orleans native, was recruited by Ed Orgeron to play wide receiver at Ole Miss. Safety was a bigger need, so he was moved there. He brings the skill set of a wide receiver to the free safety position.
Who Should Take Him, and When?
The only limitation I would place on the team that drafts Kendrick Lewis is this: don't plan on using him to stack the box. He's a free safety with good coverage skills, and while he can tackle quite well, he's not the heavy hitter that you'd look for in a strong safety. He's very fundamentally sound after tackling quite poorly for his first 2.5 years in college. He is not, however, Troy Polamalu. He isn't that dynamic free safety who can make huge plays against the run. I would guess that, if he's drafted, it will be in the sixth or seventh round. Apparently some scouts have him listed as one of the top ten safeties in the draft. That would put him somewhere around the fifth round.