Breaking Burgundy's Film Analyst Paul Conner will be in the lab crunching film on college prospects up until the 2016 NFL Draft. He will be sharing his notes on each player he watches throughout the process.
Position: Wide Receiver
College: Ohio State
Ben Standig's mock draft for CSNmidatlantic.com: No. 17 to the Falcons (1/15)
(Analysis vs. Virginia Tech, Rutgers, and Maryland)
Strengths: Ohio State's quarterbacks didn't always help their star wide receiver last season, but Thomas' talent emerged regardless. He may become a better pro than college receiver because his athletic traits are obvious. The 6-foot-3 receiver has a long body, is more nimble than you'd think and has enough long speed to run by defenders. Thomas has the foot quickness to win off the line of scrimmage and he's more agile than his size would indicate. He has enough speed and explosion to cut, make people miss and get yards after the catch. He is a relatively good route-runner and uses his quick feet for effective double moves which the Los Angeles native used with success against a few cornerbacks with it this year. Thomas played mostly on the perimeter but on both sides of the field.
Concerns: Thomas doesn't always use his hands to catch the ball and will rely on his body at times. He will sometimes make the difficult catch but drop the easy one. His development was hampered by quarterback play but hopefully he is able to bounce back from that in the pros as wide receiver is one of the more tedious positions to learn. If he is to reach his peak, he will need that and to improve his consistency but I don't think Thomas has even scratched the surface of what he can be yet.
If drafted by Redskins: The Redskins currently have a lot of money tied up in the receiver position. Rumors suggest they may have to cut ties with Pierre Garcon or DeSean Jackson. Even if they don't, it would be smart so add some more dynamic youth to the position. Kirk Cousins is a point guard who can be as good as his weapons allow him to be. His performance without Jordan Reed or DeSean Jackson were proof of that. General manager Scot McCloughan values size at most positions and wide receiver is no different. Cousins looked a lot better once he got more aggresive and gave his guys a chance. Adding a large threat on the outside who will go up and get the ball might be too much to pass up.
Paul Conner is the Film Analyst and a Draft Evaluator at Breaking Burgundy. You can follow him on Twitter @P_ConnerJr
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