Ronnell Lewis is what the Lions want and look for in their defense

Posted Jul 7, 2012

During Detroit’s rookie mini-camp back in May, defensive line coach Kris Kocurek described defensive end Ronnell Lewis as a tough, effort player, which is exactly what the Lions want and look for in their defense.

At Oklahoma, Lewis earned the nickname, “The Hammer,” for his punishing hits on the field, so when the Lions had the opportunity to get him in the fourth round (125th overall) of this year’s draft, they took it.

“I had no idea I was on their radar,” said Lewis. “I guess it’s the teams who don’t really look at you that might pick you up. It was a great opportunity to get picked by the Lions and to be here and be part of their program.”

Leading up to the draft, Lewis visited a few teams, including Dallas, the New York Jets and San Diego.

Making those visits was a great experience for the former Sooner, who said it brought him back to his travels as a college recruit.

“They were pretty good trips,” he said. “I met all of the coaches and a lot of the guys. It felt like I was in college again, just making trip after trip, but each program that I visited was really cool and the coaches were great.

“But, I’m here now.”

After the evaluation process leading up to the draft, the only thing left for Lewis to do was wait.

When Day 3 came, he was spending time with close friends and family.

“I was relaxing with friends and family at home waiting for my name to be called,” he said. “It was a great feeling to have that moment and when I heard my name I got really emotional.

“It was very exciting for me.”

It was projected that Lewis would be drafted to play linebacker, but the Lions view him as a pass rushing end, who can also hold up against the run, adding depth to their already talented group of ends.

Since acclimating himself to the team, Lewis says there are still a lot of things, technique-wise, that he needs to keep working on, but he feels like he’s picked up a lot.

“At first I was scared to ask the vets questions; I felt like it was up to me to do it on my own,” he said. “But as I got comfortable around them, they’ve been willing to help with us young guys and take us under their wings. They want us to be successful here as well.

“I feel like I’ve adapted really well. I feel like I’ve improved each day and that’s all I want to do.”