Mario Louis, a wide receiver from Grambling State University, is a player that everyone needs to pay attention to as it appears he is making a strong move up draft boards.
At his recent pro day he measured in at 6’0" and 195 pounds. He ran a 4.56 second 40-yard dash on what has been described as one of the slowest tracks around.
Louis caught 51 passes for 1,159 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior at Grambling State. Head coach Doug Williams has called Louis the best NFL prospect he has ever coached. Louis is drawing interest from the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions.
I had a conversation with Louis after his pro day and we talked about what it was like to play for coach Doug Williams. He told me “It was a great experience, you know, being able to learn from somebody who was a legend.” He also said that Williams had made his mark in the NFL and to be able to see him every day and have him teach them on and off the field was a great experience.
Mario Louis is another player in a long line of guys who've come over to football from the basketball court—he has only been playing football for two years.
I asked if there was anything he took from basketball and translated it onto the football field; he told me that basketball helped his footwork and the timing of getting his feet in and out of routes. He also said that it definitely helped with his ability to go up and get the ball at the high point—kind of like a rebound. He also explained how playing basketball has helped him to set up his steps to get to his right depth on a route.
He played point guard and then transitioned to a shooting guard as he grew. He told me that the way he attacked the basket when he would drive the ball to the hole is similar to how he attacks the football when it is in the air. He feels he uses really good body position and finds the ball at its peak.
I asked him about special teams and whether he played them at Grambling. He replied, “in order for me to get on the field I already know my first year I'm going to have to play special teams. I already have my mind made up, like that's what I'm going to have to do already.”
I asked him what his favorite moment was from college and he told me that it was winning the championship during his senior year. He said that being with his teammates and winning a championship and sharing that with them was very special to him.
I asked about his pro day and if there were any teams down there looking at him. He told me that there were around 10 teams. I asked how it felt to have all of them looking at him. He said “it makes you nervous knowing that people are there just to watch you.”
He then told me that he felt pressure was on him throughout the whole year and he was able to perform well. He told me that he took it as one of those moments where he needed to put on a show and that's what he wanted to do.
Apparently he did.
We talked about the future and specifically his future in the NFL. When I asked him what he thought he could offer to an NFL team he said “I'm a hard worker. You know, someone who's relentless with whatever I'm trying to accomplish” and “I pretty much can come in and help and be somebody that can make an impact and become a playmaker as soon as possible.”
When I asked him to compare himself to a wide receiver in the NFL he told me it would be Calvin Johnson because of the way he attacks the ball going over defenders. Watch the video attached to this article and you will see Mario Louis attacking the ball.
When I asked him what message he has for the fans of the team that drafts him, he said that the team would be getting “somebody who came overlooked and a player that most teams slept on.” He went on to say that he would have a real impact for the team that they are watching. “They are going to love me.”
Mario Louis had a phenomenal senior season at Grambling State and he has only played football for two years. One can only imagine what he will be able to do playing in the NFL and getting the specialized coaching that he will get there. Make no mistake, he is going to get drafted and he is going to be productive. Don’t forget where you heard it first.
Scott Bischoff is a Contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials.