Post-Draft Outlook: A closer look at the Steelers' picks: Round 3/96 -- Keenan Lewis, CB, 6-1, 205, Oregon State...Steelers coaches compared him to Ike Taylor. They love size. They were thin at the position with the loss of starter Bryant McFadden in free agency. The Steelers hope to use him in bump-and-run coverage. He was a high school teammate of their previous pick, Mike Wallace. - by The Sports Xchange
Keenan Lewis/Oregon State football Videos
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After two seasons of battling injuries, Lewis had a healthy senior campaign, establishing himself as one of the most physical cornerbacks in the West. His work ethic and team-first attitude saw him perform at a level that has professional scouts feeling that he will quickly emerge as one of the National Football League's elite pass defenders.
Lewis not only excelled on the football field, but also received recognition for his success in the classroom, earning Academic All-Pac 10 Conference honors as a senior. That undoubtedly pleased his mother, Muriel, a teacher at Martin Behrman Elementary School.
Lewis, along with teammate Dennis Christopher, was recruited to Oregon State by former Beavers assistant and New Orleans native Charlie Camp. His family was displaced to Natchitoches for six months because of Hurricane Katrina. Their home sustained significant wind damage but fortunately did not flood in the storm, he said. Still, Lewis said he'd like nothing more than to be in a position to support his family one day.
"I definitely want to help my mom out," he said. "That would be a dream. But to have an opportunity to play for any team and just make it (in the NFL), that's what I'm trying to accomplish right now."
And while he loved his days at Oregon State, Lewis said he hopes his professional playing career will prove less geographically challenging for his family and friends. "I definitely hope that one day I'll be able to come back and play for New Orleans," said Lewis, who interviewed with Saints scouts at the NFL Combine. "I hope they bring me home."
At O. Perry Walker High School, Lewis was rated as one of the top 100 cornerback prospects in the country by Rivals.com. The first-team All-Metro and All-League choice as a senior, he made 75 tackles with four sacks and seven interceptions. He also returned five punts for 180 yards and five kickoffs for 150 yards in 2003.
His best prep game was against L.B. Landry High, when he produced 12 tackles, intercepted a pass, forced two fumbles, recovered a fumble, and returned a punt 55 yards. The three-year starter registered 71 tackles with two interceptions as a junior and posted 54 tackles as a sophomore. He also graduated with academic honors, attaining a 3.27 grade point average.
"Keenan is one of those Cinderellas," said Terry Wilson, Lewis' former head coach at Walker High. "I always knew Keenan was going to be good at whatever he chose to do because he always worked hard. He's always had a strong work ethic. He was just a pleasure to coach."
Lewis decided to bypass numerous scholarship offers to enroll at Oregon State in 2004, stating that he selected the university because, "OSU is strong academically and it will allow me an opportunity to play football in the best conference." He redshirted his first season with the Beavers, but was named Freshman All-American and second-team All-Pac Ten Conference in 2005, starting all 11 games at left cornerback. He added Academic All-Pac 10 honors and posted 45 tackles (25 solos) with two stops for loss and 11 pass deflections.
The Exercise and Sport Science major was again named to the Academic All-Pac 10 squad as a sophomore. He started 13 of 14 games, manning the left cornerback position, as he broke up eight passes. He also collected 22 tackles (17 solos) with one sack and two stops behind the line of scrimmage.
Lewis saw his playing time decrease by midseason after taking a helmet to his knee vs. Arizona. He would start 11 games in 2007, but had problems running because of the injury, which forced him out of the lineup for two contests. He did intercept three passes, leading the team in that category, but he had just two pass breakups and a career-low 15 tackles (12 solos).
In 2008, he achieved Academic All-Pac 10 status for the fourth time in his career. The team's active leader for starts with 48, he returned to his freshman form, delivering 35 tackles (27 solos) and a stop for a loss. He also batted down nine passes while picking off four others, including one that he returned for a touchdown.
Positives: Rare height for the position. ... Aggressive at the line of scrimmage. ... At his best in press coverage where he can get his long arms on the receiver and disrupt the timing of the passing game. ... Good foot quickness to turn and run with the receiver. ... Plants, drives and closes quickly. ... Gets his hands on lot of passes. ... Has the experience and intelligence to operate well in zone coverage. ... Enjoyed a solid week of practice at the Senior Bowl.
Negatives: Questionable deep speed. ... Lacks the soft hands for the interception. ... Misjudges passes and allows too many to get into his chest. ... Generally a reliable open-field tackler, but likes to duck his head and swipe, leading to some missed tackles. ... Can get a bit grabby downfield, which will lead to pass interference calls at the next level. ... Willing in run support, but was protected by a physical and experienced front seven, and prefers to stand around the pile, rather than throw his body into it.
Lewis was the team's active leader for starts with 48, appearing in 50 games at Oregon State...Recorded 117 tackles (81 solos), a 3-yard sack and five stops for losses totaling 20 yards...Caused one fumble and deflected 30 passes...Gained 72 yards on seven interceptions (10.29 avg) that included one touchdown.
Academic All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice...Added All-Pac 10 honorable mention...Started all thirteen games at left cornerback, leading the team with four interceptions for 29 yards in returns, including a touchdown...Recorded 35 tackles (27 solos) with a stop for a 3-yard loss...Also deflected nine passes...Part of a unit that ranked second in the Pac 10 in total defense (312.15 ypg, 23rd nationally) and third in pass defense (180.92 ypg, 22nd in the country).
Academic All-Pac 10 Conference selection for the third consecutive year...Started eleven games at left cornerback, coming off the bench vs. Stanford and missing the California contest after an opponent's helmet crashed into his knee during the second half of the Arizona game...Also left the season opener vs. Utah due to leg cramps...Still managed to lead the team with three interceptions for 43 yards in returns, but was limited to a career-low fifteen tackles (12 solos)...Also deflected two passes.
Earned first-team Academic All-Pac 10 Conference accolades...Started thirteen games at left cornerback...Collected 22 tackles (17 solos) that included a 3-yard sack and two stops behind the line of scrimmage...Finished second on the team with eight pass deflections.
Freshman All-American third-team selection by College Football News, earning the first of four Academic All-Pac 10 Conference honors...Took over left cornerback duties, as he started eleven games...Recorded 45 tackles (25 solos) with two stops for minus 13 yards and a forced fumble...Led the Beavers with a career-high eleven pass deflections.
Redshirted as a freshman...Named co-Defensive Scout Team MVP.
2007: Left the season opener vs. Utah (8/30) with leg cramps...Suffered a grade two knee sprain when an opponent's helmet hit his knee in the second quarter vs. Arizona (10/06), missing the next game vs. California (10/13).
Campus: 4.49 in the 40-yard dash...1.53 10-yard dash...2.59 20-yard dash...4.40 20-yard shuttle...6.89 three-cone drill...38.5-inch vertical jump...10'10" broad jump.
Combine: 4.47 in the 40-yard dash...1.53 10-yard dash...2.58 20-yard dash...33.5-inch vertical jump...10'3" broad jump...Bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times...32 3/4-inch arm length...9 3/4-inch hands.
Attended O. Perry Walker (New Orleans, La.) High School, playing football for head coach Terry Wilson...Rated as one of the top 100 cornerback prospects in the country by Rivals.com...First-team All-Metro and All-League choice as a senior...Made 75 tackles with four sacks and seven interceptions, as he also returned five punts for 180 yards and five kickoffs for 150 yards in 2003...His best prep game was against L.B. Landry High, when he produced 12 tackles, intercepted a pass, forced two fumbles, recovered a fumble and returned a punt 55 yards...The three-year starter registered 71 tackles with two interceptions as a junior and posted 54 tackles as a sophomore...Graduated with academic honors, attaining a 3.27 grade point average...O. Perry Walker High teammates Burnell Wallace and Dennis Christopher are teammates of his at Oregon State, and Craig Davis and Dominique Cooper were student-athletes at Louisiana State.
Exercise and Sport Science major...Four-time Academic All-Pac 10 Conference choice...Son of Muriel Lewis...Born 5/17/86 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Draft Scout Player News
11/24/15 - LCB Keenan Lewis (knee) suffered an MCL injury against the Washington Redskins on Nov. 15 and it's not known if he'll be ready for Sunday's game.
11/19/15 - LCB Keenan Lewis (knee) left Sunday's game with what he said was an MCL injury and it's not known how long he might be sidelined.
11/16/15 - LCB Keenan Lewis (knee) suffered an MCL injury in Sunday's game with the Washington Redskins and it's not known how long he'll be sidelined.
11/15/15 - CB Keenan Lewis left with a leg injury late in the second quarter. His left leg hit wide receiver DeSean Jackson's helmet on a tackle and Lewis remained down several minutes before limping of. Payton didn't address Lewis' injury after the game. "I'm straight," Lewis said. "I'll find out tomorrow."
11/13/15 - LCB Keenan Lewis (illness) didn't participate in practice Thursday and his status for Sunday's game is not known.
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