Grambling State wide receiver Mario Louis entered the 2012 NFL draft in hopes of being the first Tiger drafted since the Dallas Cowboys took defensive end Jason Hatcher in 2005 in the third round with pick No.92. Unfortunately, that didn’t go in Louis’ favor; however inspite of being undrafted, his chances of landing a spot on the Houston Texans roster are highly probable.
“We had a chance to see him play,” said Texans wide receiver coach Larry Kirksey. “We watched his tape and we like his size.”
According to Louis’ agent Albert Elias, there has been a ‘standard 3-year deal’ offered to Louis once arriving in Houston on May 13.
“Going into camp knowing that I have an opportunity to play even though I’m undrafted is a great opportunity for me,” said Louis.
Due to Andre Johnson spending the majority of last season benched because of injuries, missed a total of 10 games, the Texans looked to improve at the wide receiver position. The Texans released Jacoby Jones, who took on Johnson’s role as starter, after he disappointed Texans fans with his performance in the AFC divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens that resulted in a Texans loss.
Louis firmly believes that, his work ethic and his ability to make plays alone will keep the Texans in contention with being contenders in the AFC South if given the opportunity to play right away.
“I don’t wish injuries on anyone, but if the situation was to fall into play like that I feel like with the right knowledge and going in to work on my game I can go in with my play making ability and still be able to produce and help the team succeed,” said Louis.
The Texans drafted two other receivers, Ohio State’s DeVier Posey in the third round with pick No. 68 and in the following round at pick No.26, Michigan State’s Keshawn Martin was selected. Along with Louis, Dwight Jones, Texans backup quarterback T.J Yates’ favorite target while at North Carolina, and Jerrell Jackson receiver from Missouri will also have an opportunity to make the squad as an undrafted free agent.
Louis said competitively, “I just see it as I’m unstoppable. If you come line up in front of me I feel like I’m about to do what I want to do with you. I don’t know how other players think but that’s what helps me.”
Louis finished the 2011 season with 51 receptions for 1129 yards and 18 touchdowns. In the Bayou Classic against instate rival Southern Jaguars, Louis led the Tiger to victory with 4 receptions for 76 yards and 3 touchdowns and was named MVP.
In the SWAC Finals in the Tigers rematch against Alabama A&M, Louis scored his only touchdown in the third quarter on 80-yard pass from D.J. Williams in the third quarter. Louis was also SWAC MVP.
“He has a great opportunity to go to another place where he has a great opportunity,” said Grambling’s head football coach and Super Bowl 26 MVP Doug Williams. “I talked to the receiver coaches over there about three or four times and they really like Mario and knowing Mario for who he is and the way he works I’m not concerned. This is just a great opportunity for him.” Coach Williams added that Louis could immediately impact the Texans special teams although that wasn’t his role for Grambling State.
Recent success of an NFL undrafted free agent is the New York Giants’ Victor Cruz. In 2010 Cruz went undrafted coming out the University of Massachusetts but was later signed to New York. He later became Eli Manning’s go to guy finishing with 1,536 receiving yards, a single season franchise record for the New York Giants.