It’s time for Jon Gruden to step things up; Hall of Fame Candidates Under 30
After being drafted as a quarterback in the fourth round of the 2014 Draft by the Arizona Cardinals, Thomas struggled to stay on a roster midway through the 2016 season, bouncing between the teams. training of the Dolphins and Giants. That’s when he switched positions, playing the tight end for Bills (2017-18) and Lions (2019) before landing in Washington. The 6-foot-6, 250-pounder had a stellar year in 2020, posting 72 catches for 670 yards and six scores. Thomas counted 36 first tries while setting himself up as a reliable target between hashes. The strong performance validated the opinions of scouts who have long viewed the tight end as a good choice for former Virginia Tech QB.
Thomas earned a four-star rating from 247Sports as a 6-foot-5, 220-pound pro-style quarterback in high school. Analysts raved about his impressive combination of size, strength and explosiveness as an elite athlete, and those reviews matched the ratings of several NFL scouts after watching Thomas’ impressive performance in the NFL. 2014 Scouting Combine (4.61 seconds 40 yards, 35 1 (2 inch vertical jump, 118 inch wide jump and 4.18 second 20 yard shuttle).
Although he failed to stand out as a quarterback for the Cardinals, Dolphins and Giants, Thomas’ athletic traits piqued the interest of coaches and scouts looking for a wide receiver. of strong passes. Given Thomas’ recent success and NFL history with tight conversions (see: WR turned TE Darren Waller and former basketball players Jimmy Graham and Mo Alie-Cox, among others), Scouts should continue to use their imagination when evaluating long, lanky athletes with intriguing physical tools.
Walker Little: training camp feel. The Jaguars have yet to play a pre-season game, but Little is poised for all-star honors as a training camp phenomenon.
In fact, the No. 45 overall pick in this year’s draft created a buzz throughout the offseason. Observers have raved about his height (6ft 7in, 309lb) and refined technique as a prototypical left tackle prospect. On a summer visit to the Jaguars’ practices, I heard glowing reports of his development from the staff and even received a favorable review from Jaguars legend Tony Boselli after spending time studying the recruit in the field.
Boy Scouts are certainly not surprised by the positive reports of a player once considered an almost perfect prospect in high school. Ranked # 1 overall in the Recruiting Class of 2017 by 247Sports, Little possesses all the traits evaluators covet in an offensive tackle outlook. From his size and length to his refined footwork and technique, he looks like at first glance and his performance throughout the camp made some evaluators forget his two-year layoff at the end. of his career at Stanford due to an injury (ACL tear in 2019) and an opt-out in 2020.
With the rookie showing no signs of rust or underdevelopment as a player, the Jaguars may have discovered a gem that gives them insurance for Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor around the edges. If Little continues his impressive performances in the preseason, the Jaguars could be forced to reconsider their roster plans ahead of the regular season.