Matthew Thomas

Florida St.
OLB

Prospect Info

College
Florida St.
Hometown
Class
Miami, FL
r-Senior
Height
Weight
Arms
6' 3"
232 lbs
33”
Hands
8 7/8”

Prospect Grade

5.16
Better-than-Average Chance to Make NFL Roster
How We Grade
40 Yard Dash
4.58
Seconds
 
Bench Press
--
Reps
 
Vertical Jump
41.5
INCHES
Broad Jump
131.0
INCHES
 
3 Cone Drill
6.85
Seconds
 
20 Yd Shuttle
4.28
Seconds
 
60 Yd Shuttle
--
Seconds
 
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Playlist

Thomas' collegiate journey has not been easy, even though he was a top 15 overall recruit nationally. He was part of Florida State's national championship squad in 2013 but missed most of that freshman year after undergoing shoulder surgery (four tackles, two for loss in four games). Thomas was then suspended for the first six games of the 2014 campaign for violating team rules; he eventually got on the field in eight games, starting three (26 tackles, 2.5 for loss). His mother passed away in January 2015 from lung disease, and that, understandably, affected his school work; he was ruled academically ineligible for the 2015 season. But things turned around when Thomas returned to the field as a redshirt junior in 2016. He started 12 of 13 games played and led the team with 77 tackles, playing fast and strong with the length to wrap up ballcarriers at will. He had 11 tackles for loss, 3.5 of which came in FSU's Orange Bowl win over Michigan (Thomas had 11 total stops in the contest). Thomas led the Seminoles in tackles in 2017 with 85, 10 for loss, two sacks, an interception, two pass break-ups, and a blocked kick in 12 starts (he did not play in the Independence Bowl).
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 6-7
Overview
Thomas is lacking in many of the areas teams covet in linebacker play. His instincts are poor, he doesn't always play with a competitive demeanor, he's not a downhill player and he lacks play strength and productivity for the position. However, Thomas does possess a long frame with outstanding play speed and the potential to make plays. It's his athletic traits and "potential" that will give him a shot as a WILL linebacker who will need to excel on special teams to stick with a team long-term.
Strengths
  • Long-limbed with a frame that might be able to pack on more muscle
  • Has explosive athletic ability with plus chase speed and range
  • Has access to a second gear that can close out running backs before they get the corner turned and get up the field
  • Flashes disruptive quality when he triggers downhill into a gap on zone plays
  • Good reactive athleticism with talent to recover and get in on a play
  • Possesses smooth hips and feet and can mirror opponents when asked to cover in man
  • Can be a boomer hitter in the open field
  • Does a decent job of sticking his chest in on ball carriers when tackling them on an angle
Weaknesses
  • Has a low number of high-impact plays
  • Has just one forced fumble and one fumble recovery his entire career
  • Sits on second level and waits for action to get to him rather than playing downhill
  • Too lightweight to leverage his gap and squeeze rushing lanes
  • Allows blockers to get into his frame rather than punching to separate
  • Technique seems optional to him
  • Too willing to run rather than scrape with squared pads
  • Lacks patience when pursuing wide flowing run plays and will overrun his fits
  • Instincts and awareness are poor
  • Looks lost in a fog on play-action and will chase ghosts that aren't there

News

Path to the Draft

Final quick-snap 2018 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams

Best and most worrisome picks from the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Rounds 2, 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft

GRADE
9.00-10
Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99
Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99
Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49
Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49
Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99
Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49
NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99
Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
NO GRADE
Likely needs time in developmental league