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Prospect Profiles: Daniel Thomas


Triangle Numbers: 6-2, 228, 4.68

Scouting Reports:

Draft Countdown:

• Excellent height and bulk with a large, sturdy frame
• Athletic with nice agility, balance and nimble feet
• Is strong, tough, powerful and runs extremely hard
• Patient but decisive with good vision and instincts
• A classic downhill runner who excels on the interior
• Doesn’t go down easily and will usually fall forward
• Gets job done in short-yardage / goal line situations
• Is more than capable as pass catcher out of backfield
• An adequate blocker with the potential to be fantastic
• Determined with good work ethic and solid intangibles
• Very productive and excelled against top competition

• Just does not have great speed, quickness or a burst
• Runs too tall and leaves himself open to punishment
• Not very shifty or elusive and won’t make people miss
• Will struggle to get outside and turn corner in pros
• Is not a big play threat who will take it the distance
• Struggled in classroom and intelligence is a concern

Sideline Scouting:

Positives: Has very long legs, is a long strider who glides with the football… Strong upper body allows him to shed arm tackles, gets a lot of yards after contact… Patient runner, very smart with the football, has great vision… No significant red flags with injury history or character concerns… Played two years of JUCO ball and two years at Kansas State, ran for 2,850 yards and 30 TD at Kansas State… North/south runner who has a nose for the end zone… Could be used as a goal line back… Has run plays out of the wildcat, played quarterback at his junior college, could fit well with a team that runs a lot of wildcat formations… Large upside, only has two years experience as a running back.

Negatives: Runs too upright, will be prone to injury… Does not have great long speed, is more of a bruiser… Has more upper body strength than lower body, his base appears a bit weak and most of his power comes from up top rather than driving with his legs… Below average receiver out of the backfield, doesn’t have great hands and struggles running crisp routes… Would like to see him wrap the ball up better when fighting through trash, too often he leaves the ball visible to defenders… Will be a 24 year old rookie… Lacks explosion, is more of a slow twitch runner, may struggle shaking tacklers at the next level… His upright running style gets him knocked off balance too easily and it allows him to be pushed backwards far too often

FF Toolbox:

It is not often that the eighth rated junior college prospect in the state of Mississippi turns into an NFL prospect. Thomas was certainly successful during his two years at junior college, but he has come a long way in a very short amount of time. After ending up at Kansas State, Thomas was thrown right into the running back mix and quickly emerged as the Wildcats’ go-to-guy. On 247 carries, Thomas rushed for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was even third on the team with 25 receptions for 257 yards.

Kansas State fans and NFL scouts wanted to see if Thomas could continue that success during his senior campaign. Through six games, the answer is an overwhelming yes. Thomas has increased his yards per carry average from 5.1 as a junior to 5.4 as a senior and has made seven trips to the end zone. Thomas has proven that he can carry the load and at 228 pounds, he has the size to be a bruising back in the NFL.

Thomas, who played quarterback in high school and a little bit in junior college, is a smart and tough player who has had to carry the Kansas State offense and done a very good job of it. When all is said and done, Thomas should be a second or third round selection and one of the safer running backs in this class. He may not be quite as explosive as some others, but he is an every down back.

2/10 Update: Thomas ended his senior season with 1,555 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. His 2,850 career rushing yards ranks second to only Darren Sproles. That is extremely impressive for a player who only spent two years at Kansas State. Thomas’ versatility could sneak him into the second round, but right now he is likely a third round prospect barring some surprising performances leading up to the draft.


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GiantsGab Thoughts:

Daniel Thomas is a workhorse, everydown back who can start pretty much right away. He has only two years at running back, as he was a QB before that. Is big, can run in between the tackles. Not very fast, but he’s not an outside runner. He’s a bruising, punishing back who will get the extra yards by fighting for them. The big thing with him is that he’s not very fast. He won’t be an option out of the backfield in the passing game. He will be an inside runner, no more than that. But on first downs, in goal line situations, and in many other situations, he could be very good. I’ve seen him mocked to the Giants many times, in the 2nd round. Could slip to the 3rd, but that’s unlikely. If he does, it will be early third. Giants are in need of a running back. Either Jacobs or Bradshaw won’t be back, probably Jacobs. They need a replacement. Thomas could be that guy.


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