After dealing with injuries in 2011 and having a poor showing at the NFL Combine, linebacker Travis Lewis saw his stock dramatically drop during the 2012 NFL Draft. It dropped so much that he wasn't picked until the Detroit Lions selected him in the seventh round. Based on his numbers at Oklahoma, it was surprising that he was still available, but numbers obviously don't tell the whole story in the eyes of scouts.
While Lewis was surprised that he fell all the way to the seventh round, he recently told the Lions' official site that he wasn't too surprised that he ended up being taken by Detroit because of a conversation he had with linebackers coach Matt Burke at Oklahoma's pro day. And while he may have been a bit upset at the time, he is now using his status as a seventh-round pick as motivation going forward.
"I think it was the best thing that ever happened to me," he said. "That chip on my shoulder of being picked late, of all the teams passing me – I believe that I’m a first round talent and everybody should have that mentality.
"It was a blessing that it happened to me, being picked that late, and now I just come to work every day with that chip on my shoulder."
Somebody like Tom Brady has made a career out of using his low draft status as motivation. Obviously not every player who does that ends up like Brady, but Lewis is right on when he says that "everybody should have that mentality." He wants to prove the rest of the league wrong, and based on the early reports from the OTAs and minicamp, he's off to a good start in his quest to do that.