When Geno Lewis got back to Norman on Feb. 28, a little more than a week before Oklahoma’s pro day, he had a pretty good idea that the pre-NFL draft event would be flooded with NFL scouts, coaches, front office personnel and media members. More so than years in the past.
With former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon — whose off-the-field issues caused him to not receive an invite to last week’s NFL scouting combine and is a first-round talent according to many draftniks — and wide receiver Dede Westbrook — a Heisman Trophy candidate this past season who didn’t run at the combine — working out at Wednesday’s pro day, the opportunity to impress was there for Lewis.
The former Wyoming Valley West football standout knew how important of an opportunity it was to perform in front of the 52 sets of eyes from all 32 teams.
“A lot of pro days are not going to have every scout there, and every team was there — all 32 teams,” Lewis said. “For me, it was just, take advantage of the opportunity because that’s how I’ve always been throughout my whole college career and whole football career.
“And you just want to go out there and open some eyes up and turn some heads with there being so many people there. I think we definitely turned some heads today.”
And impress was exactly what Lewis did.
The wide receiver recorded team-highs in the vertical (38.5 inches) and broad jumps (129 inches) and ran his 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds. Lewis’ vertical was a tie for first with linebacker Jordan Evans.
Both his vertical and broad jumps were also personal bests.
The Valley West, Meyers and Penn State alum prides himself on his explosion, and was happy to see the time he spent training at former NFL wide receiver Chris Chambers’ facility, The Chamber, pay off.
“Today I put it all to the test and trusted in the process,” Lewis said. “The results came out the way they were and I was happy with the results. I’m just glad the lord gave me the opportunity to go down there and let those guys give me the knowledge that they had.”
The minute Lewis got to the facility at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, it was go, go, go.
From taking the Wonderlic Test just 15 minutes later, to a 45-minute warm-up at 8 a.m., measurements at 8:45 a.m. and then a plethora of drills there after, there was little time for the wide receiver to get inside his own head. Which was the last thing he wanted to do.
Even though this was the fifth pro day he’s been at, it was his first time actually participating. He had watched pro days in the past at Penn State, supporting his teammates and picking up on the flow of the event.
“For me, going to so many of these pro days, that’s how I learned that guys (can think) too much about stuff, and then if you don’t do well on one thing, it’ll be affecting you on the next thing you do,” Lewis said. “For me, it was just go out there, give it the best you got and as long as you know that you give it the best you got, you can live with those results.”
While Lewis didn’t have eye-popping stats at Penn State and Oklahoma, he had a knack of making the big play. The wideout scored touchdowns in various NFL stadiums and caught the game-winning touchdown in his first game as a Nittany Lion.
His ability to find the end zone, explosiveness and character are three desirable attributes Lewis believes makes him an attractive prospect.
“Talent-wise, I’m very confident in my game and I could be a game-changer and a big playmaker when it comes down to it,” Lewis said. “I’ve made a lot of big plays throughout my career, and I feel like I can transfer that on to the next level. I just need one opportunity, and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
After talking with his agent, fellow Penn State grad Marty Magid, on Wednesday night, Lewis received good vibes as he continues to train for his future.
Magid told the wideout that he’s going to start making some phone calls and gauging interest as the April 27 NFL draft approaches.
With his pro day in the rearview mirror, Lewis will enjoy his spring break back home in Pennsylvania and will also make a stop in State College for Penn State’s pro day on March 16 before returning to Norman, where he will stay until mid-April. Then, it’s the NFL draft.
Time will tell if Lewis did enough to see his name called the last weekend of April. But either way, he knows he took a step toward that direction on Wednesday.
“Let people know I know my talents and I’m confident in what I do,” Lewis said of his approach at the pro day. “Just to show a team that I can come in and help, and do everything I can to be a positive addition to a team and make plays. Just wanted to go out there and give it the best I had, and hopefully somebody opened their eyes up and will give me a shot.”