For a lot of NFL draftees, the wait until their pick is a nerve-wracking task. Those who hope to be first-rounders learn the frustration of playing the waiting game – a time most have no lost love for.
The same wasn't true of new Vikings linebacker Dontarrious Thomas. Despite being viewed by several scouts as a second-round prospect, he wasn't buying into getting too excited. When he found out the Vikings were not only interested but traded up two spots to get him, he was pleasantly surprised by the turn of events.
"I had no idea at all that I would be drafted as high as I was and that (the Vikings) were interested in me," Thomas told VU. "I'm really happy they decided to give me the opportunity to play for them."
Thomas brings versatility with him – having played both weakside linebacker and middle linebacker in his senior season. But, his thinking is on the same lines as the Vikings – at the NFL level, he's an outside linebacker.
"I feel I belong on the weak side – where (Auburn coaches) decided to play me for three years," Thomas said. "I only moved to the inside because we had a guy hurt, a guy kicked off the team and a graduating senior. I did it basically for the team, but I feel real comfortable playing the weak side ‘backer."
Coming to a team that has been and is going through a transition at the linebacker position, he's confident his biggest assets – speed and leaping ability – will give him a chance to fight for a starting job.
"I think I bring more speed to the table," Thomas told VU. "I'm a linebacker that is more versatile and I've played all three linebacker positions. I have a different perspective at the linebacker spot."
But a shared perspective Thomas has with the Vikings is that he can help make the Vikings defense. By trading up to get him, the Vikings showed they believe he can get the job the done.
"We were sitting two picks away from him and everyone in our draft room agreed he was our guy," Mike Tice told VU. "With him that close, we didn't hesitate to move up to get him. He was the guy we wanted and we got him."
Thomas Brings LB Versatility, Speed
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