Duke's Roper: Lewis belongs in the NFL

Former Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis is considered a "borderline draft prospect" by ESPN Recruiting, meaning that he is likely a late-round draft choice or an un-drafted free agent. He's a player a team might take a chance on because of character and/or potential.

Duke offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper is convinced Lewis deserves that chance.

"If you don't know Thad, he is a special, special young man," Roper said. "I keep telling everybody that there's not 90 quarterbacks in the world better than Thad Lewis. He can help somebody's team in the NFL. You look at 30 teams having three quarterbacks, Thad is a good football player and should end up playing in that league in some role."

Lewis played in the recent Texas vs. The Nation game (3-of-5 for 30 yards) and is preparing for Duke's Pro Day next month, along with the NFL combine, held Feb. 24-March 2 in Indianapolis.

Lewis finished his career at Duke with 48 school records, including career marks for total offensive yards (9,987), passing yards (10,065), pass completions (877), pass attempts (1,510), touchdown passes (67), 300-yard passing games (11) and touchdown-to-interception ratio (1.68:1).

In 2009, he completed 61 percent of his pass attempts for 3,330 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He's just one of two quarterbacks in ACC history to throw for over 10,000 yards in a career.

Had Lewis put up those numbers at just about any other FBS school besides Duke, odds are more people would be aware of his accomplishments. Scouts Inc. has him the No. 20 quarterback heading into the NFL draft.

"He's being invited to all the right things and evaluated by all the right people," Roper said. "Hopefully it works out for him. He's a talented young man."