Lew Nichols NFL Draft

Lew Nichols III

  • RB Central Michigan
  • Sophomore
  • #256
  • 5'10"
  • 220lbs
  • Prospect
  • Mid-American

Prospect Summary

Lew Nichols III 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report


  • Led the FBS in rushing in 2021 with more than 1,848 yards on the season
  • Ranked first in the country in all-purpose yards in 2021
  • Redshirted 2019 after appearing in four games as a true freshman


  • 2022 projected role: Starting RB

Pros: Any time a back puts up the kind of numbers that we saw from Lew Nichols III in 2021, you have to respect it. His ability to carry the ball as a workhorse player and centerpiece for the Chips team that rode him to a five-game win streak to close the season was essential. Nichols III brings some variety to the backfield as a runner, offering a blend of physicality and elusiveness that puts defenders into conflict in the hole. You will see him quickly identify defenders who hesitate and he’ll hit them with power versus those who aggressively fill, where he can hit them with a move. Tone-setting runs and chunk gains were a weekly staple, particularly through the back half of the season. He also performed well against SEC competition in Missouri and in the bowl game against Washington State—the level of competition in the MAC isn’t something that I think takes away from his productivity. Nichols III was a persistent check-down option in the passing game as well and made several tough catches away from his frame. His situational awareness was good in the two-minute offense to find the boundary and be mindful of the clock. In all, I felt Nichols III showed himself to be an instinctual runner with good vision and just enough variety in how he attacks defenders.

Cons: The production is through the roof but I do believe it is a bit misleading versus his skill set. Lew Nichols III appears to be a volume back but I did feel like most of his chunk gains came through free access and soft resistance at the point of attack from the defenses he faced. I didn’t see a prominent second gear from Nichols III in the open field either—I get the impression he’s a one-speed runner and that some of the home runs he hit in college wouldn’t be as impactful in the NFL. For all of his receptions in the passing game, I thought he was a little one-dimensional in this regard as well—routine dump downs. Additionally, while he was physical and willing to bang in pass protection, his polish and angles were not where you’d like them to be to protect your quarterback consistently in the pocket. He was too often a step late and defenders ran through the thud to still impact the quarterback. I hope to see improvement there and with the dynamic ability of his play in 2022.

Lew Nichols III NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs