John Fennelly, Lead Writer
The Giants are among the teams in the market for an OT this draft season and Michigan’s Taylor Lewan matches up with that need very nicely. One problem, however. Lewan is facing assault charges stemming from an alleged altercation with two Ohio State fans last December. He was not arrested and has maintained his innocence throughout the process.
Lewan was supposed to be arraigned last Tuesday in Ann Arbor, but those proceedings have been delayed until after the NFL Draft. Lewan will not know his fate until May 19th, more than a week after the draft has concluded.
The details of the case are sketchy and most of the information in the case has not been made public. Lewan has denied assaulting anyone, but with the case still pending, his draft stock as a top-15 pick is in jeopardy.
From Kyle Feldscher of The Ann Arbor News:
All of the charges that will be brought against Lewan are misdemeanors. In Michigan, assault and battery is a misdemeanor punishable by 93 days in jail or a fine of up to $500.
Aggravated assault is a more serious crime, defined as a charge against “a person who assaults an individual without a weapon and inflicts serious or aggravated injury upon that individual without intending to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm less than murder.” That charge is punishable by one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Will this keep teams – including the Giants – from drafting Lewan? Time will tell, but keep in mind, the Giants drafted RB Ahmad Bradshaw in 2007 with the knowledge that he had to fulfill an obligation to serve out a jail sentence in Virginia.
It’s likely Lewan will get to plead this down or even be exonerated. But, again, teams may stay away just as a precaution.