Lucas Walker Breakdown Detroit Lions Players From The University Of Oklahoma.
This is the fifth article in a 12 part series that will examine which colleges have been the best at producing Detroit Lions in the 21st century. Today will be a look at Lions players from the University of Oklahoma.
Ronnell Lewis spent three seasons at Oklahoma where he played both linebacker and defensive end. He earned his nickname “The Hammer” because of his hard hits on the field. In his freshman and sophomore seasons, Lewis was a good role player at the linebacker position, combining for 59 tackles, 4.5 sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles. For his junior season, Lewis transitioned to defensive end full time where he broke out big time, recording 59 tackles (13 of which were for a loss), 5.5 sacks and an interception. Lewis’ productive career led to the Lions drafting him in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL draft.
Ronnell Lewis lasted only one season in Detroit and appeared in just eight games. He recorded no statistics with the Lions and was cut during the preseason of 2013. Since then, Lewis has appeared on six different minor league football teams, spanning five leagues (including the Canadian Football League and Arena League).
The most notable part of Ronnell Lewis’ Lions career was when he was arrested on three misdemeanor charges after his rookie year. Lewis was in a bar fight that ended with the police having to use a taser him.
Travis Lewis was a four year starter at Oklahoma where he was an ultra productive linebacker. His best season actually came as a freshman in 2008 when he made 144 tackles, 3.5 sacks and four interceptions. He would make 109 tackles in each of the next two seasons, before having a down year as a senior. He would only make 84 tackles, one sack and one interception in his final season with the Sooners. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL draft.
Travis Lewis had the longest career of any player on this list, remaining on the Lions roster for four seasons. He played exclusively on special teams over his first three seasons, recording nine tackles. In 2015, he played a little bit of time at linebacker and made 13 tackles. He was also able to record a sack in his time at linebacker that year.
Travis Lewis signed a one year contract with the Vikings in 2016. However, he didn’t even make it to Vikings training camp, as they cut him just a few months after signing him. Travis Lewis has not appeared on an NFL roster since then.
Ryan Broyles was also a four year starter for the Sooners. When he left college football, he set the NCAA record for the most receptions in a collegiate career with 349 catches in his four years. As a freshman, Broyles was a role player and only had 687 yards, but he had a huge breakout over the next three seasons, going for more than 1000 yards in each of them. His best season came as a Junior when he caught 131 passes for 1622 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was also a productive punt returner, averaging 11.1 yards per return in his career with two touchdowns. His college career ended a few weeks early when he tore his ACL in his senior season. Despite this major injury, the Lions still drafted Broyles in the second round of the 2012 draft.
Broyles got off to a slow start to his NFL career before breaking out in the middle of the 2012 season. He had a stretch of six games in the middle of that season where he averaged four receptions for 51 yards per game. In 2012, he had the best game of his career on Thanksgiving against the Texans when he caught six passes for 126 yards. Broyles would unfortunately tear his ACL the very next week against the Indianapolis colts, ending his rookie season.
In 2013, Broyles got off to a decent start, making eight catches for 85 yards in three starts. He would suffer a season ending injury again midway through the season, this time a ruptured achilles tendon. He would come back in 2014, but only made two receptions in five games.
In the 2015 preseason, Broyles asked to be released from the Detroit Lions. The Lions granted his wish. He has not signed with another team since then, and his NFL career appears to be lost due to injuries.
Coincidentally, all of these players were drafted in the 2012 NFL draft. Also coincidentally, none of them became productive players for the Lions. Today, none of Ryan Broyles, Ronnell Lewis or Travis Lewis are even in the NFL. The University of Oklahoma has not at all been good to the Detroit Lions in recent years. Because of this history, Lions fans should be cautious of players from Oklahoma. However, three bad players do not mean there could never be a great Lion from Oklahoma.