Lloyd Cushenberry has emerged as one of the top center prospects in this year’s NFL Draft process, but he is not the only interior lineman from the 2019 LSU squad that the Falcons should be keeping tabs on. Guard Damien Lewis projects to be a quality NFL player as well and fills a position of need for Atlanta.
Lewis has one of those feel-good stories surrounding his rise to becoming an NFL player. He received minimal interest coming out of high school and ended up attending Northwest Mississippi Community College. As a three-star JUCO prospect, Lewis transferred to LSU, where he was perceived to be a depth piece behind Garrett Brumfield and Ed Ingram. After blowing away LSU’s coaches during spring practices, he worked his way into the starting lineup in 2018 and went on to post the highest Pro Football Focus grade among interior lineman in the SEC (tied with teammate Lloyd Cushenberry). Despite the breakout, Lewis opted to stay in school and played a substantial role in helping LSU become National Champions. His contributions also landed LSU the Joe Moore Award for the best offensive line in college football.
Lewis is a massive human being at 6’2″, 329 lbs, and a downhill mauler in the run game who uses power and leverage to push around defensive lineman, holding his own against some of the best in the game. He utilizes his wide base, balance, and strong hands to master his craft but is more of a power run game blocker as Lewis lacks elite mobility. In the passing game, he is still capable but does not have the length that NFL scouts salivate over.
In the right situation, Lewis projects as a starting guard. If the Falcons are looking to re-establish the run game, which seems likely given the down year in production and investment in Todd Gurley, he could play a significant role in doing so, competing for the starting job at left guard immediately. In the third or fourth round, he is about as safe as it gets.
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