WINNIPEG — If NFL scouts didn’t know his name before, they probably do now.
Manitoba Bisons offensive lineman Geoff Gray was turning heads at last weekend’s 92nd annual East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, FL. As one of only two Canadian university players to receive an invite to the prestigious game, Gray had a crucial block on the game’s only touchdown, helping his West squad to a 10-3 victory. The block was highlighted on the NFL Network, with Gray even getting a mention on U.S. national television.
“Honestly I don’t remember that play all that well,” Gray said. “I was kinda laughing cause rarely do you have people talking about offensive linemen in a good light. It’s only when you make a mistake, so I definitely want to enjoy that.”
Gray, 22, is also a competitive weightlifter. He was chosen as a first team All-Canadian and won the award as Canada West’s top down lineman last season. Gray was ranked sixth overall in the most recent CFL Scouting Bureau rankings in December but by the end of the week in Florida, there was a lot more interest from NFL scouts in the 6′ 6″, 310 pound engineering student.
“I think it definitely improved my chances,” Gray said. “There was lots of scouts that going into it weren’t necessary familiar with me or hadn’t seen my film and what I’d done in practice. Obviously I wasn’t going to be the best one there, day one. That’s an unrealistic expectation. But I just looked good physically and just focused on learning the offence. So I think all the feedback I got was really positive with just my learning.”
David Onyemata was the first ever Bisons player to get taken in the NFL Draft last year when the New Orleans Saints picked him up in the 4th round, 120th overall. And now there’s an outside chance Gray has his name called just a year later.
“It would be nice for it to lead to being drafted but you never really know,” said Gray. “There’s a lot that can happen until then with them looking at my film, with how I do at the combine or pro days or whatever. That’s the end goal but I could get on an NFL team a number of different ways.”
This year’s NFL Draft is from April 27 to 29 and if he doesn’t get selected or sign a contract, he’s an almost guaranteed first rounder in the CFL Draft a few weeks later.
WATCH: Geoff Gray Interview