Former Wisconsin linebacker Alex Lewis seemingly possesses the qualities NFL scouts yearn for in a weakside linebacker. He played fast as a collegian and timed fast following his senior year, running between a 4.5 and 4.7 40-yard dash in runs at Wisconsin's pro day and the NFL's Predraft Combine. An aggressive player inclined to make the big hit, Lewis is credited with a 425-pound bench press and a 580-pound squat, according to NFL.com.
At 5-foot-11, 227 pounds Lewis does not possess ideal size, but he looks the part and could get bigger.
Lewis was a productive player at Wisconsin and was very versatile, filling well against the run, dropping into coverage more smoothly as his career progressed and causing all sorts of havoc in opponents' backfields, whether playing weakside linebacker or rush end.
But like so many players in any given draft, Lewis is a little rough around the edges. He showed great improvement in his two years as a Badger, but still needs to work on the finer points of playing linebacker, refining his footwork in pass coverage and his ability to dissect a play and make the correct reads consistently.
Those disparate traits have left Lewis swinging in the middle rounds of the draft, with the most feasible projections ranging from the late third round to the fifth.
"You never know. I don't know myself. It is just a waiting game right now," Lewis said at Wisconsin's pro day in March. "I'm just glad to be here. Like you know I'm from junior college and I just had big dreams of going (to the NFL) one day. Thanks to Jesus, he made it possible for me."
The fact that Lewis came to Wisconsin from junior college could make him an even more intriguing prospect since he should have more room to grow as a player.
NFL teams certainly took interest this offseason. Lewis played well the Shrine All-Star game in January, leading the East squad with seven tackles. He was also invited to the NFL Combine and at both places interviewed with a number of teams. Lewis said that 25 teams interviewed him at the Combine.
"Most of all they like my personality, they like my background that I haven't gotten into any trouble…my record's clean, never had any suspensions and I'm just a hard worker and that's what I'm trying to bring to the table," Lewis said.
But despite the contact, Lewis had little idea where he would be selected.
"I really don't know," he said. "I'm just trying to show them my numbers and show them my game tapes.
"I'm just taking it a day at the time…I never look toward the future, I look towards right now. That's all I'm doing."