Each Sunday, CSN Philly examines a potential draft pick for the Eagles -- first round or otherwise.
This week, they took a look at "a potential game changer out of Oregon."
It’s been a week since Oregon game-changer and my 11th-rated prospect De’Anthony Thomas was clocked at a disappointing 4.51 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. It was an official time that shocked the scouting community, especially after he was unofficially timed at a 4.34 during his first 40-yard attempt, which seemed to be a more accurate portrayal of his explosive game speed.
Regardless of what concerns some evaluators and analysts may have after what was officially revealed in Indianapolis, make no mistake about it: Pound for pound, Thomas is the most dangerous prospect available in the 2014 NFL draft. Known for his dynamic skill set, joystick-like maneuvers, versatility and ability to score every time the ball is in his hands, Thomas, no matter if he’s selected in the first round or the seventh round, is destined to be a difference maker at the next level.
During his three-year career in Eugene, Thomas amassed 1,890 rushing yards, 1,296 receiving yards, 1,885 return yards and 46 total touchdowns (26 rushing, 15 receiving and five on returns).
DRAFT PROFILE PROVIDED BY CSN PHILLY:
Thomas is a lethal playmaker who can change the reflection of a game every time the ball is in his hands. He possesses incredible game speed, acceleration and vision out of the backfield and in space. He’s extremely dangerous on the perimeter, works well in tight spaces and needs only the smallest crease to create offense.
He’s very patient with the ball in his hands, varies his speed and follows his blockers.
As explosive as Thomas is, and as much of an impact as he can make… he’s very small and doesn’t have a definitive position at the next level. He lacks strength, doesn’t enjoy the physical aspects of the game and will leave yards on the field to avoid contact, which in some ways is smart given his size and durability concerns.
How he’d fit with the Eagles
With the Eagles re-signing Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin, the wide receiver position is in good shape in the short-term, but it’s still unknown what the future holds.
Bringing in a playmaker like Thomas, who possesses many of the same physical attributes and skill qualities of DeSean Jackson, instead of a bigger, more physical young receiver, would be an interesting move.
The relationship between Kelly and Thomas is also well-documented with Thomas recently praising his former coach at the scouting combine.
Draft projection: 1st-3rd round.