Height: 6’2″ | Weight: 228lbs | Kansas State
Acceleration/Burst/Quickness: Does a nice job making one cut and turning up field. Can get behind his weight and accelerate through the hole. Has some quick twitch burst. Is more quick than fast.
Ball Protection: Needs to learn to better switch the ball to his outside arm. Is predominantly right handed when carrying the ball. Lost the ball 11 times over the last two seasons. There’s an issue with protection and this has to be addressed early on.
Elusiveness/Feet/Agility: Has used a spin move to break free of tacklers in the past and uses this effectively. Can slip out of the backfield and avoid taking a loss, but won’t leave anyone hugging air. Is a power back first and foremost. Has some wiggle in his hips, but not enough to rely on.
Pass Catching: Has been consistent and reliable catching swing passes and screens. Does a nice job getting to the flats and catching on the move. Sells the play-action and can turn to make a catch in the middle of the field or the flats. Has even lined up at splint end. An underrated receiver.
Pass Blocking: Does not always show maximum effort in pass blocking. Has the size and strength to do well here, but hasn’t put forth the effort. He’s aggressive enough to become a dominant third-down blocker if he wants to be.
Power: A very strong inside runner with good body lean. Falls forward to pick up extra yards. Has a thick build and is hard to wrap up. Can run through arm tackles. A high-effort player who will keep his feet moving through tackles. Has the strength to push the pile. Could be valuable as a goal-line back.
Size/Length/Hand Size: Great size and strength. Has a big, thick body that can handle the punishment of an NFL season.
Speed: Doesn’t show breakaway speed. Will wear down a defense, but is not going to break long runs for 60+ yards.
Vision/Balance/Instincts: Does a good job pressing the line of scrimmage and forcing his way through holes. Has the patience to wait for a block to develop, but is strong enough to push through a clogged hole. Vision is average compared to the better outside runners of the class. Puts his head down and runs through the line more than he looks for holes. Has the balance to turn the corner, but lacks the speed to consistently beat the defense to the edge.
Final Word: Were it not for issues with fumbles and a lack of speed, Thomas might be considered a late first-round prospect. As it stands teams have too many concerns with his ability to hold on to the ball, and worry that he will not be able to run away from NFL defenders.
Thomas is big, strong and a very good athlete. He has a chance to carve out a niche as a goal-line back or even a starter in a power-run offense (like Cleveland has done with Peyton Hillis).
Thomas’ two years at Kansas State were very good, especially coming from a JUCO system before that. He’s a leader and his toughness will endear him to coaches and teammates in the NFL.