Devin Thomas profile
[B][URL="http://www.nfl.com/draft/profiles/devin-thomas?id=1036"]NFL Events: Draft Player Profiles - Devin Thomas[/URL]
[/B] Devin Thomas ([URL="http://www.nfl.com/draft/tracker#tab:dt-by-position%7Cpos-wr"]WR[/URL])
College: [URL="http://www.nfl.com/draft/tracker#tab:dt-by-college%7Ccollege-34"]Michigan State[/URL]
Conference: [URL="http://www.nfl.com/draft/tracker#tab:dt-by-college%7Cconf-big10"]Big 10[/URL]
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
High School: Canton
[URL="http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/devin-thomas?id=1036"]View Combine Page >>[/URL]
[B]Pick Analysis:[/B] The Redskins traded back and still got the top wide receiver on their board. Thomas has great athletic ability, but really only put up big numbers one year in college. He'll have a chance to get immediate playing time in Washington.
Overview[/B] Pound-for-pound, Thomas is one of the strongest receivers in college football. A well-built athlete with massive upper body muscle tone, Thomas not only has the strength to power through arm tackles, but also displays blazing quickness. He succeeded in a variety of roles for the Wolverines since the arrival of new head coach Mark Dantonio, who unearthed the junior's talents in 2007.
After a promising freshman campaign at Coffeyville Community College, Thomas saw minimal opportunities to touch the ball as a sophomore at Michigan State. Once Dantonio arrived on campus, the coach quickly got to work on devising ways to use his receiver.
By the end of his junior campaign, Thomas not only set a school single-season record with 79 receptions and ranked second in the Big Ten Conference with 1,260 yards, but he also paced the league while ranking 11th in the nation with a 29.1-yard kickoff return average. He averaged 6.6 yards on 27 carries, finishing sixth in the NCAA ranks with an average of 199.23 all-purpose yards per game.
Thomas began his well-traveled football career at Huron (Ann Arbor, Mich.) High School. He transferred to Canton (Mich.) High as a junior, where he earned Detroit Free Press All-State (Division 1) honors in 2003. The second-team All-Metro choice by The Detroit News was also named to The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press All-West teams in 2003.
That season, Thomas intercepted six passes, returning one 54 yards for a touchdown vs. Livonia Churchill. He accounted for more than 1,000 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns, as he rushed for nearly 600 yards and had 17 receptions for 440 yards (25.9 avg).
Thomas enrolled at Coffeyville Community College, where he redshirted in 2004. In 2005, he ranked among the nation's top 20 junior college prospects, according to Rivals.com (No. 15) and Fab50recruiting.com. He earned second-team All-Jayhawk Conference honors as the led the Red Ravens in receptions with 33 for 674 yards (20.4 avg) and five touchdowns, finishing seventh in receiving yards in the NJCAA Region VI ranks (61.3 ypg).
Thomas totaled 1,161 all-purpose yards that year, ranking 10th in the region with an average of 105.5 yards per game. He returned 15 kickoffs for 339 yards (22.6 avg), adding three punt returns for 92 yards (30.7 avg), as he also gained 56 yards on five rushes (11.2 avg).
In 2006, Thomas enrolled at Michigan State. He appeared in 10 games, but managed only six receptions for 90 yards (15.0 avg) and one touchdown. He also blocked a punt that he recovered for a 17-yard return vs. Northwestern.
The second-team All-Big Ten Conference choice set the school single-season record with 79 receptions in 2007. He started all 13 games at flanker, as his 1,260 yards receiving rank third on MSU's annual record list. He had eight touchdown grabs, rushed 27 times for 177 yards (6.6 avg) and averaged 2.6 yards on seven punt returns. He attempted one pass and set a Big Ten single-season record with 1,135 yards on 39 kickoff returns (29.1 avg), as his 2,590 all-purpose yards set a school record.
After his junior year, Thomas decided to leave MSU and applied for the 2008 NFL Draft.
"It's a done deal," his father, Dwight Thomas, said in an interview with the Associated Press. "Coming off the season he had and looking at the senior corps of receivers, we felt like it was a prime opportunity for him to enter the NFL."
The elder Thomas said Dantonio was disappointed when informed of the decision. "He tried to point out some reasons why he should stay for his senior year," Dwight Thomas said. "I have a lot of respect for the man and appreciate what he's done for my son, but we just felt like this was the time for him to play in the NFL."
"We took some positive steps forward, looking to re-establish our program," Dantonio said. "In one aspect, I feel like a failure as a coach because I didn't keep the team together. But on the other end of things, I feel like a success because he had a great year so he had that opportunity. We wish him the best."
In 23 games at Michigan State, Devin Thomas started 14 contests. He hauled in 85 passes for 1,350 yards (15.9 avg) and nine touchdowns. He also amassed 2,697 all-purpose yards. Including his time at Coffeyville College, he finished his college career with 118 catches for 2,024 yards (17.2 avg) and 14 scores. He rushed 32 times for 233 yards (7.3 avg) and totaled 127 yards on 11 punt returns (11.5 avg). He returned 54 kickoffs for 1,474 yards (27.3 avg) and piled up 3,858 all-purpose yards.
[B]Career Notes[/B] Thomas's 79 receptions in 2007 broke the previous school record of 68 catches by Charles Rogers in 2002...His 1,260 yards receiving in 2007 rank behind Rogers 1,470 in 2001 and 1,351 in 2002) on MSU's single-season record list...His eight touchdown catches in 2007 tied Plaxico Burress (1998), Andre Rison (1988) and Bob Carey (1949) for fourth on the school single-season record chart, topped by Rogers (14 in 2001 and 13 in 2002) and Burress' 12 in 1999...His 13 receptions vs. Indiana in 2007 tied Burress (vs. Florida in 2000) for second on MSU's game-record chart behind Matt Trannon's 14 grabs vs. Eastern Michigan in 2006...His three touchdown receptions vs. Penn State in 2007 tied the school game record that is held by Burress (vs. Florida in 2000, Northwestern in 1999 and Iowa in 1999), Rison (vs. Georgia in 1989), Mark Ingram (vs. lowa in 1986) and Gene Washington (vs. Indiana in 1965)...His 1,135 yards on kickoff returns in 2007 broke the old school single-season record of 966 yards by Derrick Mason in 1994 and also topped the previous Big Ten record of 994 yards by Earl Douthitt of Iowa in 1973...Only Douthitt (43 in 1973) had more kickoff returns in a season than Thomas' 39 (2007) in Big Ten annals...His 2,590 all-purpose yards shattered the old Michigan State annual record of 2,094 yards by Lorenzo White in 1985...Only Larry Johnson of Penn State (2,655 yards in 2002) gained more all-purpose yards in a season among Big Ten Conference players... Gained an 100 yards receiving in seven games during 2007, setting a new school single-season record, topping the old mark of six, set by Rogers during both the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
[B]Junior College[/B] Ranked among the nation's top 20 JUCO prospects by Rivals.com (No. 15) and Fab50recruiting.com . . . earned second-team All- Jayhawk Conference honors in 2005 . . . played for Coach Jeff Leiker at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College where he helped the R
[B]High School[/B] Attended Canton (Mich.) High School as a junior and senior, playing football for head coach Tim Baechler...Thomas began his football career at Huron (Ann Arbor, Mich.) High School as a freshman and sophomore...At Canton High, he earned Detroit Free Press All-State (Division 1) honors in 2003...The second-team All-Metro choice by The Detroit News was also named to The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press All-West teams in 2003...That season, Thomas intercepted six passes, returning one 54 yards for a touchdown vs. Livonia Churchill...Accounted for more than 1,000 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns that year, as he rushed for nearly 600 yards and had 17 receptions for 440 yards (25.9 avg).
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Re: Devin Thomas profile
Positives: Has an outstanding frame with very good muscle development, especially in his arms and chest...Has long, cut limbs with a lean waist, muscular, cut-up legs and room to add more bulk without having it impact his impressive timed speed...Has very good agility, balance and flexibility, but needs to work on adjusting his feet better working along the sidelines...Shows toughness fighting for the ball in traffic and is a physical route runner who likes to run through tackles (gets in trouble when he tries to get fancy and execute fakes, though)...Has the quickness to get in and out of his breaks and the strength to absorb punishment going up for the ball in a crowd...Will lay out to make the catch and showed marked improvement in working back to the ball...Explosive breakaway threat with impressive leaping ability, as he shows good explosion coming off the line, using his hands well to escape press coverage...Also uses strength over quickness to escape the jam, but is adequate using an array of moves to elude defenders...Has the burst to get in and out of his cuts, along with the speed and feet to get separation...Even though he has long limbs, he runs with short, quick feet...Especially effective on underneath passes and crossing patterns, as he separates quickly from the defender in the open, showing that second gear needed to gain yardage after the catch...Has good strength to power through on his initial release and gets a strong push off the line of scrimmage...Moves upfield quickly after busting the jam and is very physical with the defensive backs to defeat the press...Needs a bit of deep route polish, but has a good feel running solid short-to-intermediate routes (still needs to sit down in coverage better)...Has the arm power to push off and uncover trying to get open and is very tough and physical when accelerating upfield and this allows him to break tackles...Shows excellent linear speed and the upfield moves needed to break free from tacklers after the catch...Has the lateral agility and foot movements to slip past off coverage and gets proper separation from the defenders on underneath routes...Plucks and extends for the ball outside his frame...His height, strength and long arms give him an advantage taking on tacklers in a crowd...Times his leaps well and rather wait for the pass, he attacks the ball at its high point...Very fluid in his running stride, keeping his balance to power through arm tackles (will take a bit of time getting back to top speed when he stops to make the catch, though) as he won't go down easy, fighting hard for extra yardage...Has the strength to overpower second level defenders when asked to block on the move, but is not as effective when blocking in-line...Despite his speed, he is a patient kickoff returner who follows his blocks well and shows good pad level running with the ball...Might be a good fit as a slot receiver, due to his combination of size, strength and speed that are sure to create mismatches vs. the defense's sub package.
Negatives: Has very good timed speed and is quick into his routes, but needs to do a better job of uncovering and tracking the ball on deep routes (struggles at times to snatch the ball over his outside shoulder)...Must do a better job of keeping his feet in bounds when operating along the sidelines...Despite his quickness, it takes him some time to get back to speed when he tries to turn and run after making the catch...Must use his raw power better to break arm tackles, as he tries to get too fancy with his fakes and moves after the catch in attempts to elude rather than power through...Still learning how to set up defenders and needs to do a better job of sitting down in coverage...Has large hands and good arm reach to extend for the ball, but when he doesn't attack the ball or tries to body catch, most of his drops occur...Effective cut blocker, but does not play up to his size and strength when blocking in-line (needs to sustain and finish better)...Might struggle trying to digest a complicated playbook (just adequate with the mental aspect of the game). And needs to do a better job of reading coverages (will run into spots, at times).
Compares To: KOREN ROBINSON-Green Bay...A physical player with very good strength and timed speed, Thomas is still a bit raw as a route runner, but uses his size to shield the ball from the defender. He is very effective as a kickoff returner, as he has the straight-line speed and patience to squeeze through the wedge for big yardage. With his impressive physique, he could be an inviting target over the middle, as he will not hesitate to mix it up with a defender. However, with his burst and running stride, he can also challenge the deep secondary. He will still need time to develop better pattern running skills, but he has enough in his package to contribute as a rookie.
No injuries reported.
Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.
Re: Devin Thomas profile
In college, what player hit you the hardest? Who was the recipient of your best hit?
No one had a chance to get a big hit on me.
What TV-show marathon will keep you on the couch all day?
Fresh Prince of Bel Air
What are the five most-played songs in your iPod? What's the one song you hope nobody ever finds out is in your iPod?
Five songs by Lil Wayne. I don't want anyone to see Purple Rain by Prince.
What celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life and why?
Jamie Foxx because he could bring out the funny things out as well as the sad.
What is one thing your teammates don't know about you?
That I can cook.
What reality TV show would you like to be on and why?
The Real World because it would be crazy having a camera around 24/7.
What's your proudest moment in football? Proudest moment off the field?
Clinching the win that allowed us to go to a bowl game; Having my son.
When you play Madden, what team do you use? Do you put yourself on the team?
Who has been the biggest influence on your football career and how?
My dad because he always believed in me and my abilities.
Re: Devin Thomas profile
Now that he's a Redskin should we move this to the main Locker Room?
He better change his Madden answer now
Re: Devin Thomas profile
I didn't read anything in there about him dropping passes. Maybe I wasn't paying close attention but could have swore that was mentioned as a concern during the draft.
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