Mel Kiper: Taylor Lewan makes 'bad call' returning to Michigan
Taylor Lewan says he returned to Michigan because he can play in the NFL for years, but has only one more opportunity to play in college.
One noted writer says that's not the right call.
"Bad call," ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. wrote Wednesday. "I didn't see Lewan falling much past No. 15 overall in this draft, and while I respect the decision, I don't want to see a kid worth a lot of money right now holding out. Odds are he'll be fine and a likely top-10 pick next season, but he has plenty of value now."
Kiper had slotted the Michigan left tackle among his top-15 prospects, and among the top-three tackles. According to last year's pay scale, that would have net Lewan at least $10 million in guaranteed money.
Lewan said the NFL Draft advisory board also projected him as an early first-round selection, but the lure of playing his final season at Michigan and competing for a Big Ten title was too much.
"When you say NFL and the first round, that sounds amazing," he said. "But when you play at the University of Michigan, whether it's basketball, hockey, football, there's a tradition here and it's something you want to be part of. If I do what I need to do, I'll be able to play in the NFL for however long -- but you only get one more year of college.
"Every kid grows up wanting to be a pro athlete -- most want to be pro football players -- and to know I had that opportunity was a great feeling. But like I said before, I have unfinished business here. Came in in 2009, and I want to finish with my class."
Lewan said he will take out an insurance policy to safeguard against an injury that could hurt his worth.
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