Roger Lewis, WR
School: Bowling Green | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-0 / 201 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 6th - 7th Round
NFL Comparison: Charles Johnson
Lewis is a big-play receiver that absolutely dominated the Mid-American Conference at Bowling Green. He originally had no intention of playing there, as he fielded multiple Division I offers out of high school, but the day before Signing Day in 2012 he was arrested on multiple counts of rape. Very serious allegations; Lewis was facing 22 years of prison time if convicted. However, both charges were ultimately dropped. He ended up pleading guilty to giving false statements to the police, for which he received three years' probation. Although he was absolved of the rape charges, teams were understandably spooked, so Lewis played the 2013 season at Jireh Prep were he accumulated 35 receptions for 900 yards and 13 touchdowns. When Bowling Green came calling the second time, Lewis was impressed with their loyalty and agreed to join the team.
The first day of spring camp, the wide receivers' coach had to kick Lewis out of his office because he was studying too much film. In 2014, after Lewis caught the game-winning touchdown pass to beat Indiana with 12 seconds remaining, he burst in to tears on the sidelines as the emotion of overcoming his past hit him. "It's emotional to me to know that the game of football could have been taken away from me," Lewis said. "But that's how much I love the game." Roger Lewis had a fine Combine but a much more impressive Pro Day, where he recorded a 4.46 40-yard dash, 36 inch vertical, 10 foot 5 inch broad jump, 4.45 second short shuttle and 7.5 second 3-cone, which were significant improvements in every category.
- Explosive acceleration off the line and is "football" fast -- more speed than numbers would suggest in helmet and pads. Vertical threat that was able to consistently beat lesser corners over the top for long scores.
- Has ideal arm length and hand size to pluck ball out of the air and competitive in traffic
- Overcame initial adversity in college career fighting legal charges to become All-Conference receiver two years in a row
- Significantly higher production in 2015 despite 11 fewer targets than 2014
- Severely lacking in change of direction and lateral speed, which will limit his route effectiveness at NFL level
- Noticeably struggled against higher levels of competition (2-49 vs. Tennessee, 6-49 vs. Purdue), although annihilated Maryland and CB Sean Davis to the tune of 15-200 and 2 scores
- Ability to get deep partly a function of defenses trying to shut down Bowling Green's underneath/screen game
- Needs to add strength to fight with NFL-level DBs and improve route timing to avoid fighting for the ball in traffic
Multiple teams have told me that Bowling Green WR Roger Lewis and Arizona WR Cayleb Jones are off their boards due to off-field issues
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 6, 2016
Just going through BGSU - WR - Roger Lewis. Rough background. Poor combine. Limited routes. But man, he's really good and shows upside.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) April 9, 2016
Lewis also improved broad (116 to 125) and vertical (33.5 to 36) at pro day. May have been injured at the combinehttps://t.co/yyhM5eoLrI— Kevin Cole (@Cole_Kev) April 7, 2016
I can't help but watch the tape of @OttoLewis_ (Roger Lewis) and I can't help but feel like whoever gets him is getting a special player.— 2016 NFL Draft (@DraftRT) April 1, 2016
I hope there's a team that gives Roger Lewis a second chance in life because the right environment will change him for the better.— 2016 NFL Draft (@DraftRT) April 1, 2016
Roger Lewis may not be the fastest player in the draft, but give him a free release and he's gone. pic.twitter.com/Dq5h1NsDNJ— Shawn Spencer (@Spencer_NFL) April 4, 2016
Roger Lewis concentration: ☑️ pic.twitter.com/CHeIGEK7RK— Kyle Crabbs (@NDTScouting) February 28, 2016
Great toe tap here from roger lewis pic.twitter.com/PVxP2frjax— Sean 'Subs' Perry (@subsfootball) February 27, 2016
Matt Johnson to Roger Lewis for a FALCON TOUCHDOWN! BG 48 OU 17 pic.twitter.com/GauoQlKsz6— BG Radio Sports (@BGRSO) November 5, 2015
Roger Lewis (yes, in his Gucci goggles) warming up. pic.twitter.com/cdIpMcDrIW— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) November 4, 2015
How He Fits on the Redskins
I was surprised to learn that many teams have Lewis off their draft boards for his off-the-field allegations. While extremely serious if true, the charges of rape were completely dropped and occurred in high school. As a college player, he has no reported run-ins with the law, has not been suspended for misconduct and was a key player on a good Bowling Green team. Lewis is an intriguing prospect because he's shown vertical play ability which is an extremely valuable commodity in the NFL. The question is can he do it against NFL-level competition? He was still a factor against Big 10 teams which have some of the best college talent in the country, although his production noticeably declined. He would offer some speed and slight increase in size to the Redskins' receiving corps, although doesn't have standout physical traits that would get him in the lineup immediately. He projects as a 4th receiver ahead of Ross and Grant with the potential to grow into a vertical threat, a la Charles Johnson.