De'Anthony Thomas lands in good situation with Kansas City

De'Anthony Thomas lands in good situation with Kansas City
May 11, 2014, 10:15 am

Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas (6) says he will return to action Saturday against UCLA.

(Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Oregon running back/receiver De’Anthony Thomas isn’t exactly an easy player to find a spot for in the NFL.

At 5-foot-9, 174-pounds, he’s a tad small to receive too man touches as a running back.

He has good receiver skills but wasn’t afforded the chance to develop them much while at Oregon.

But despite the uncertainties as to what he will bring to the NFL, Thoams might have landed in the ideal situation with Kansas City.

Kansas City selected Thomas in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday with the 124th-overall pick.

Thomas joins a team coached by Andy Reid, an offensive guru who loves to tinker with ways to get playmakers the ball in his version of the West Coast offense.

"I’m just waiting for that moment to take a lot of kicks back for that team and just contribute on both sides, offensively and special teams," Thomas told reporters during a teleconference following being selected.

Kansas City has depth at running back led by starter Jamaal Charles, a three-time Pro Bowler.

"I'm excited to play with him and learn from him," Thomas said.

But Kansas City did lose the versatile Dexter McCluster to free agency when he signed with Tennessee.

That opens the door for Thomas to fill the role as Mr. Everything.

In four seasons, McCluster (5-8, 170) had 172 receptions for 1,500 yards and five touchdowns, carried the ball 152 times for 662 yards and one touchdown, and was a dynamic return man.

Kansas City ares scout Trey Koziol told reporters that Thomas could become the team’s next McCluster, a second-round pick out of Mississippi in 2010.

“I think with his speed and his explosiveness in the open field, I think there are a variety of ways we can find a way to use him on offense and special teams,” Koziol said.

Look for Thomas to line up in the backfield, in the slot, at wide receiver and run traps, sweeps, screens, reverses and regular routes, especially crossing routes, all in an effort to get him the ball in open space and let him do what he does - make defenders miss.

Thomas said he’s ready to do whatever is asked of him.

“I’m very excited," Thomas said. "I’m just ready to play some NFL football and contribute to this team."