Injured Brandon Thomas questions need for pre-draft workouts

Clemson offensive tackle Brandon Thomas suffered a torn ACL during a workout with the New Orleans Saints last month and now questions the need for such workouts for top prospects.

"If you been through the combine, your pro day, all-star games, there really isn't a need for it," Thomas told USA Today. "I'm not saying this because I got hurt: When I think back, it's not really needed. They see your film. They saw me at Senior Bowl practices. There really isn't a need for it for a prospect that's going to go higher than the rest, like (Jadeveon) Clowney.

"For other guys that didn't get the spotlight and weren't put out there, that's an opportunity to show what they have. Once you go through everything, all the coach needs to see is what type of character you have and your knowledge of the game by putting you on the board."

Clowney cited Thomas' injury as a reason he would not do any team workouts.

Thomas had surgery April 23 and is expected to be ready to go around Oct. 1. Thomas was seen as a likely second-day pick in the draft; now, he might not go until the third day. He would've been a potential starter if not for the injury; now, he might face spending the season on injured reserve.

Thomas said the injury has a chance to be beneficial.

"This situation can help me, too," he told USA Today. "I can learn from the older guys and the playbook. It will give me time to learn the ropes, get situated and get accustomed to the whole atmosphere of the NFL."

He said he didn't even know he had suffered the injury, which occurred during a bag drill.

"In my mind, the knee just gave away and it was nothing serious," he said. "After the workout, I went to the training room. Nothing seemed like it was really wrong with my knee. I found out it was torn the next day. They didn't tell me it was torn until I got an MRI."

Joe Linta, Thomas' agent, told USA Today that the injury provides an opportunity for NFL executives to discuss providing comprehensive medical coverage for the players throughout the run-up to the draft.

Thomas and Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin, who suffered a torn ACL during a Reese's Senior Bowl practice, are the only draft prospects known to have suffered severe injuries in the pre-draft process.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.