“It was my freshman year in my first game against Stanford and I had a few big hits on special teams and coach (Bob) Stoops named me “The Hammer” after that game,” Lewis said. “It’s an honor to have that name from a coach like coach Stoops.”
The Lions traded down eight spots and picked up an extra sixth-round pick (No. 196) and were still able to select Lewis, the best player they had left on their board, with the 30th pick of the fourth round.
Lewis had 10 sacks in three seasons at Oklahoma, ran a 4.68-second 40-yard dash at the combine and led all linebackers with 36 bench-press reps at 225 pounds.
The Lions view him more as a defensive end in their scheme, though.
“(He’ll play) the hammer position,” Lions coached Jim Schwartz said with a smile.
“He’s a productive football player. He’s a little short for our defensive ends but that’s where he played. He’s been very productive. He’s a good special teams player…probably more of a defensive end, but he might find a hybrid role somewhere.”
The Lions don’t have an immediate need at defensive end this season with their top four players returning, but
Lewis can have an immediate impact on special teams for the Lions this season and be a rotational guy at defensive end. Then in 2013, who knows.
“They will put me wherever and my time will come,” Lewis said. “I feel comfortable both ways (linebacker and defensive end). Wherever coaches put me is where I’ll play and I’ll be comfortable and happy as long as I’m getting that opportunity."
Lewis was then asked what would make him an effective pass rusher at the next level.
“Using my speed and agility and bringing the pain,” he said.