The offensive prospects in the 2014 NFL draft were run through a myriad of drills this past weekend and coaches and general managers around the league got their first view of them up close and personal.
One of the teams that might not have a lot of need on offense (except for center) is the Chicago Bears. That does not mean there might not be a player or two that could help the team.
One player who is intriguing is Logan Thomas. Thomas is the enormous play caller out of Virgina Tech. In the combine, he measured 6-6, and weighed 248 pounds.
Thomas had a good year in 2011 when he completed 60% of his passes and threw for 3,013 yards. He also rushed for 469 yards. He had a total of 30 touchdowns (19 throwing 11 rushing), and was named on the 2nd team All-ACC.
In the subsequent two years, Thomas has been inconsistent. His passing yards went down each year, as did his touchdowns and rush average.
One of the knocks on Thomas is his feet. Mike Mayock, NFL Network’s draft expert calls his feet lazy. He has trouble getting his feet moving quickly. Once he does, however, his feet are fast and powerful. In the combine, Thomas led all quarterbacks in the 40-yard dash (4.61 seconds), the broad jump (9 feet, 10 inches) and vertical jump (35.5 inches). He is extremely athletic.
Thomas was the #1 tight end prospect coming out of high school, so that would account for his athleticism. He has huge (besides his size) upsides, and could be a player in the NFL.
Great mental toughness is one of Thomas’ positives. Even when he makes mistakes on the field, it does not interfere with his play-he is a natural leader.
Thomas has a great arm. At Virginia Tech he threw some lasers. Mayock loves the way the ball comes off of his hand.
His strength is incredible, and defenders just bounce off of him. Trying to tackle him is like trying to bring down a tree trunk.
With his inconsistencies, Thomas’ draft stock fluctuates. He is projected to be taken anywhere from the fourth round all the way to being undrafted.
Mayock has the same good-bad description for Thomas. ”He is all over the place during his games from an accuracy standpoint,” he says. He also says “Someone is gonna believe they could rebuild him…[and] if you could figure out Logan Thomas, he has starting quarterback credentials.”
Former NFL coach and current NFL Network analyst Steve Meriucci thinks some coach would take the challenge. “He could be a fun project to coach,” he says, and thinks Thomas could be a middle round pick.
Let’s see, Thomas would be a project. He needs a coach who could bring out the best in him and get his talent to the forefront. One who could make him more consistent. Where could that coach be located?
Thomas could be an inexpensive option for the Bears if he is available in the late rounds. He would be even better if he becomes a rookie free agent. Coach Marc Trestman can state his case to improve Thomas better than any other coach. Look at the popularity Josh McCown is getting after a year under Trestman.
The Bears can draft Thomas without ruffling Jay Cutler’s feathers. Cutler would not see Thomas as an immediate threat. Also, Cutler’s contract is basically a three-year contract (in terms of guaranteed money), so if he has not gotten the Bears deep into the playoffs by then, Thomas could be ready to show his stuff. In any case, it would not cost much for the Bears.
If the Bears have their defensive targets through free agency and the draft, they should take a chance on Thomas. With Trestman’s reputation as a quarterback whisperer, he could be the steal of the draft a few years from now.