Is consistently able to keep plays alive, make a man miss and accelerate toward daylight. Has a little natural power to his frame and because he runs with good leverage is able to grind out tougher yards than you would expect from a guy his size. Isn't someone who can consistently push the pile, but he does a nice job burrowing his head, pumping his legs while maintaining balance and creating yards inside.
Is more quick/shifty than fast. Has enough straight-line speed to reach the edge and gets up to top speed quickly. However, doesn't have a real second gear to his game. Seems to stiffen up in the open field as a straight-line guy and isn't going to outrun a ton a NFL defensive backs at the next level. However, still has the ability to make a man miss even at full speed, dropping his pad level, fluidly changing directions and darting toward daylight. Has carried the load over the past two seasons at Pittsburgh. Started off slow in 2010, but finished with a strong couple of performances vs. good competition and reached 1,000 yards rushing.
Still maturing as a blocker in blitz pick up and as a receiver out of the backfield. Showcases good body control to redirect and pick up defenders, but struggles to anchor and stick through contact.
Impression: His lack of ideal size/speed will likely cause him to fall on draft day. However, he's a gifted runner between the tackles with impressive balance, short-area quickness and suddenness inside and can consistently create inside. Looks like an ideal change-of-pace type back in the NFL."
Positive: Small but incredibly elusive ball carrier who consistently creates his own yardage. Quick-footed, easily makes defenders miss, and bounces around the pile. Shows a terrific burst of speed, squirms through the small openings of the defense, and keeps his feet driving up the field. Effectively sets up defenders, uses his blocks, and darts on the inside to pick up yardage. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield who finds the open seam in underneath coverage and extends his hands to catch the ball away from his frame.
Negative: Small and easily brought down by a single defender. Gets minimal results as a blocker. Stopped dead in his tracks and shows no ability to pick up yardage off initial contact.
Analysis: Lewis is a very small ball carrier with limitations for the next level. He'll fit in as a third-down back who is most effective in space, and will be given an opportunity as a return specialist."
Negatives: More quick than fast, doesn't have elite speed considering his small stature... Very small, is generously listed at 195 pounds... Most of his yards between the tackles comes from his vision/patience, doesn't pack a punch and can get engulfed by larger defenders... Poor pass blocker, doesn't commit enough effort in this area, and takes poor angles at defenders... Suffered a shoulder injury in 2010 which kept him out of one game... Limited upside due to his lack of size, may be relegated to a third down role... Fell off a bit as a sophomore, production was almost cut in half, his shoulder injury seemed to linger throughout most of the year... Lacks explosiveness in his game, only had one run over 30 yards in 2010, can get chased from behind... Was held back a year in high school... Does not have experience returning kicks or punts... Would have benefitted staying in college another year to add bulk and improve off of his sophomore numbers."
Weaknesses: Rather inexperienced. Not a blazer. Basically a one-year wonder (2009) who seemed to regress this past season. Not much of a blocker. Will circle back and give ground looking for the big run, and will lose yardage. Will be caught from behind, and may not have many long runs in the NFL the way he did in college. Really need the college experience and more reps to show what he is really all about, but declared with two season of eligibility remaining.
Projection: 4-5th rounder."
However, Lewis got off to a very slow start and fellow back Ray Graham started to take away some of his carries. Yet, by the end of his sophomore season Lewis was getting back to his old form. He capped it off by running for 105 yards and a score in the BBVA Compass Bowl victory over Kentucky. Lewis finished the year with 219 carries for 1,034 yards and 13 touchdowns. In just two years at Pitt, Lewis tallied 2,860 rushing yards and ranks fourth on the school's career rushing list.
Three years out of high school, Lewis is eligible to leave school and enter the NFL Draft. The departure of Coach Dave Wannstedt probably made Lewis opt to leave Pitt. Lewis has obviously been very productive in college, but he is not extremely fast and is only 5-8 and 195 pounds. He has room to grow, but most NFL teams will not take a chance on him until the fourth or fifth round."
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