Thomas made a surprising decision to forgo his senior year and enter the NFL draft following a 2011 season in which he led Oregon to a Rose Bowl victory. Only a year removed from appearing in the National Championship Game, Thomas had an extremely productive season. He has some intriguing aspects to his game, and with a strong pre-draft process he could be picked in the late rounds.
There is something to be said for being able to run such a high-tempo spread-option offense like the one run at Oregon. Thomas is an excellent game manager who ran an offense built around the quarterback controlling the pace and getting the ball to playmakers without making critical mistakes. He is deceptively big and strong at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and can add weight to his frame. He can make quick decisions with the ball and is an accurate passer in the short-to-intermediate game. A threat as a runner, Thomas also can get zip on some of his balls.
Thomas has technical issues in his throwing motion that will need to be addressed for him to stand a chance at the next level. Although he releases the ball at a high point, he has a lot of wasted motions that delay the timing of routes. He often made easy, dump-off throws within Oregon's offense and wasn't relied upon to place the ball in tight spots. He isn't the open-field athlete that his pocket movements might suggest.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.