Dontarrious Thomas NFL Bio

The official NFL profile on the Vikings' second-round pick of 2004.

Dontarrious Thomas
Position: Middle/Outside Linebacker
College: Auburn
Height: 6-2
Weight: 241
Hometown: Perry, Ga.


OVERVIEW
Hard-hitting tackler who was an all-around defensive threat for the Tigers throughout his career … One of the team's best athletes, winning the Offseason Conditioning Award as a sophomore and senior … Recipient of the Pat Dye Leadership Award as a junior … Started for three year at strongside outside linebacker before shifting to the middle as a senior … Finished his career with 350 tackles (165 solos), 61/2 sacks for minus-51 yards, 30 stops for losses of 104 yards, 15 pass deflections, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a blocked kick in 48 games … His 350 tackles rank eighth on the school's career-record list while his 185 assisted tackles rank fifth … A three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member, he was also the winner of the inaugural Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for football in the Southeastern Conference.

ANALYSIS
Positives:
Has a tall frame with long arms and legs, good upper body muscle definition, thick chest and shoulders … Shows good football instincts and is very quick to locate and track the ball on running plays (just adequate in pass coverage) … Will come downhill and take on blocks with effective strength, using his hands with force to shed … Able to get off blocks quickly and has outstanding ability to run sideline to sideline … Covers ground well and is able to run through traffic and avoid low blocks on the move, giving great effort in pursuit … Solid tackler who brings his arms to wrap and secure, showing pop behind his hits … Has the sudden burst needed to close off the edge and run down the opponent coming from the back side … Self-made type with a good attitude and the ability to handle hard coaching.

Negatives: Change of direction agility is only adequate, but can cover ground quickly … Will struggle to maintain position on the tight ends working in the short area … Gets a little too high in his backpedal and has stiffness in his hips that makes him look a bit awkward turning and dropping back in the zone … Does not locate and pick up the receiver well in zone coverage, seeing the play develop too late (also gets frozen by misdirection and play action).

AGILITY TESTS
4.57 in the 40-yard dash … Bench pressed 315 pounds twice … 325-pound power clean … 450-pound squat … 39-inch vertical jump … 11-foot-2 broad jump … 321/4-inch arm length … 91/4-inch hands … Right-handed.

HIGH SCHOOL
Attended Perry (Ala.) High, playing football for coach George Collins … Class 2-A all-state selection … Played linebacker, defensive back, receiver and quarterback, recording 78 tackles (50 solos) and intercepted six passes, returning one for a touchdown, as a senior … Picked up 278 yards on just 14 carries as a senior (19.9 avg.) … Three-sport athlete, also competing in track and basketball.

PERSONAL
Graduated in May, 2003 in Management Information Systems … Nicknamed "Reindeer" because of his running style … Son of Mary Jo and Charles Lawson, Sr. … Born Dontarrious Donta Thomas on Sept. 2, 1980 … Resides in Perry, Ala.

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