April 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm Lions pick Ronnell Lewis is finished with homework By Chris McCosky
The Detroit NewsThe Lions, at least initially, view Ronnell Lewis, right, as a bone-crunching special teams player. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Allen Park — Ronnell Lewis, the Lions' fourth-round pick Saturday, admits he wasn't much of a student during his time at Oklahoma. He was academically ineligible to compete in the Insight Bowl last season.
But, as coach Jim Schwartz comically pointed out, "Fortunately, we don't have classes here. There are no academic-All Pro teams in the NFL."
Book smarts and football smarts are two different things.
"I was pretty smart (in college)," Schwartz said. "But I was a crappy football player."
The only grades Lewis will have to concern himself with now are the ones he earns from the Lions' coaching staff.
"That academic stuff, I feel like that's in my past and I am looking forward," he said. "This is going to be my job now. I feel I will pick up well on learning the defensive schemes. This is my job. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I want to make the most of it and value it."
The Lions, at least initially, view Lewis as a bone-crunching special teams player. His physical attributes are more important than his cerebral qualities. And make no mistake, this is a strong young man. He bench-pressed 220 pounds 36 times at the combine, best among his position group.
"They didn't nickname him 'The Hammer' for nothing," Schwartz said.
Here's the story on that nickname:
"It was my freshman year," he said. "I got in my first game against Stanford in the Sun Bowl. I had a few big hits on kickoff and coach named me 'The Hammer' after that. Fans love it, teammates give me a hard time about it, but it's awesome to have that name from a coach.
"I just want to continue to have that and take it to the next level with me and continue to hit hard."
This is a guy who rode bulls and skydived for kicks.
"It's an adrenaline rush like taking a sky dive or swimming with sharks," Lewis said. "It's pretty intense. It's real dangerous, but I consider myself a guy who lives on the edge and likes that adrenaline."
Perfect mind-set for a special teams ace. Lions sign quarterback
According to reports, one of the first undrafted rookies the Lions signed was Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore.
"Quarterbacks are one of the things we will be looking for," Schwartz said.
The Lions were left without a No. 3 quarterback when Drew Stanton signed with the Jets and was traded to Indianapolis.
Moore, who throws left-handed, threw for more than 3,800 yards and 43 touchdowns last season. Boom-or-bust Sooner
Outside linebacker Travis Lewis was projected as a third-round pick early in the draft process. He was the leading tackler at Oklahoma for four seasons. But he showed up a little gimpy at the combine and ran a 4.88 in the 40-yard dash.
Thus, he had to wait until the seventh round, the 223rd pick, to hear his name called.
"It's not where you get drafted, it's what you do after," he said. "I feel I was one of the best linebackers in the draft. Now I have to prove it."
Lewis played at 230 pounds for most of his career at Oklahoma. He started 54 straight games and posted over 100 tackles in three of the four seasons.
Since 230 pounds is light for an NFL linebacker, Lewis gained weight before the combine. The result — he ran the 4.88.
"Teams were not impressed with my combine numbers and I don't blame them," he said. "But there was a team that looked at my film and saw a good player and I am glad it was the Detroit Lions."
He said he's got his weight back down to a more comfortable 239 pounds.
"Football sometimes isn't about stats, it's about how fast you run and how high you jump," he said. "I was just happy they saw something in me. I am going to prove them right and a lot of other teams wrong." Run on corners
So you wanted the Lions to draft some cornerbacks, huh? You were shocked and concerned when they took an offensive lineman and a receiver with the first two picks?
Well, three of the final six picks were corners. They took Louisiana-Lafayette's Bill Bentley in the third round, Detroiter Chris Greenwood from Albion in the fifth and Jonte Green from New Mexico State in the sixth.
"We like all three," Schwartz said. "We drafted them because we like them and felt they fit the job description. We didn't draft them because you guys thought we needed to improve our secondary." Extra point
The Lions signed undrafted free agent Rodney Austin, a 6-foot-4, 311-pound offensive guard from Elon.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2012 ... z1tQVLu4vo