NORMAN — No one is doubting Ronnell Lewis' physical ability to make it in the NFL. It's just a matter of where the former Oklahoma standout best fits in, end or linebacker.
At 6-2, 255, Lewis is at a size squarely between the two positions — but that's not an altogether bad thing, considering how many teams run a 3-4 scheme that values those “tweener” types as players to rush the quarterback. Dallas, Pittsburgh and others have expressed more than passing interest in Lewis.
Lewis, playing end, proved he could wreck an offense's plans as a junior. He finished the 2011 season with 13 tackles for a loss, including 5 1/2 sacks.
The more he has gone through the draft process, the February Combine and Wednesday's Pro Day at OU included, the more he sees himself as an outside linebacker prospect — not that he wouldn't be satisfied at end.
“I tell them I can go either way, but I like standing up,” Lewis said Wednesday. “I like seeing offenses, seeing into the backfield and stuff like that. But if I played with my hand on the ground, it really wouldn't matter.”
Lewis tested well enough at the Combine that he didn't do too many of the measurable workouts on Wednesday. He did run the 40-yard dash, taking his time from 4.68 to 4.65. Lewis also worked on pass coverage drills.
Lewis at one point last fall landed in ESPN expert Mel Kiper's top 20, but now teams, because of the size questions, are labeling him as a potential second-round pick. Lewis, a Dewar native, said he has a deaf ear toward round projections. Like a lot of other players, at OU and elsewhere, he just wants a shot somewhere.
“I really don't look at mock drafts and all that stuff,” Lewis said. “If you work hard and put in effort in the weight room and in these drills, I feel like that should be the only thing to pay attention to. I'm just going to compete and do my thing. At the end, if I've done well, I feel like that will speak for itself.”