Dallas Thomas Scouting Report

January 30th, 2013

Dallas Thomas, courtesy of USA Today

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF

Prospect: Dallas Thomas
Height: 6’5”
Weight: 308
Grade: 7.05 (Grading Scale)

Athleticism:
-Limited speed and range in the open field
-Struggles to plant and change directions smoothly, much more effective with his hands on a defender
+Fluid hips and can bend knees as a pass blocker to sink his hips
+Solid frame with a thick and strong lower half
-/+Has 32” arms, short for an edge player. He does have very large hands though.

Intelligence/Effort:
-Reaction speed often a half-second slow, shows up against intricate blitzes and moving parts
-Not an extra-effort run blocker, has a clock in his head until he expects the runner to be in the clear
-Handles stunts inconsistently due to poor vision, showed improvements from junior to senior season though
+Versatile player, experience at left guard and left tackle, with ability to move around in the middle of games

Pass Blocking:
+Very strong anchor to counteract the bullrush, absorbs contract with lower body strength
-Will occasionally get rocked back on his heels if he fails to anticipate the power rush, leaves him vulnerable to combination moves
+Meets pass rushers early instead of waiting to some effectiveness, does so without lunging or overextending
-Sometimes moves with heavy feet, struggles to mirror quick pass rush moves occasionally
-Needs to increase foot frequency, especially while engaged

Run Blocking:
+Wide base run blocker who can lock up defenders without help from other blockers
+Effective combo blocker, has a good feel for the timing it requires
+Has enough athleticism to reach the second level quickly, results vary when he gets there
-Struggles to sustain blocks with consistency, mainly due to inconsistencies in technique and pad level
-Poor technique as a puller, pops up out of his stance and gets his pads too high from the start and fails to lower them through contact

Technique:
-Hand placement and arm extension very inconsistent, not the same player snap in and snap out
+Strong hands, locks up pass rushers quite easily if he places them properly
+Sinks his hips well as a pass blocker, doesn’t sustain that knee bend and low pad level as a run blocker
-Will try to absorb power by arching his back

Overall:
Even after 37 collegiate starts at two positions on the Tennessee offensive line, Dallas Thomas is still a work in progress as a pro prospect. If he can clean up his technique issues, we could be looking at a very solid right tackle or guard in the league. Which begs the question, where does he fit? He’s not a drive blocker in the running game, which is what teams love out of their right tackles. Yet the tape shows him to be a more effective edge blocker than on the interior. He may be a zone blocking tackle or guard, but that would take quite an adjustment period. His versatility is a plus of course, but it also brings up more questions. The best thing for Thomas is to land on a team with the patience to get him in the system and develop him. He has some tools that only a few other offensive line prospects have, which is why he should still fetch a second round pick.

Scouting Notes:
Tennessee vs. North Carolina State
• Pulls from left to right on a play action pass, stops his feet after initial contact with the end and allows him to slide off
• Moves out to left tackle near the end of the first quarter, started at left guard, back to guard in the second quarter
• Strong early showing as a run blocker, often combo blocking down to linebackers effectively
• Unable to get across face of linebacker from the backside on an outside zone, backer ends up making the tackle
• Strong anchor in blitz pickup, doesn’t budge
• Pulls from left to right on a trap play, turns up through the hole but fails to break down with high pads and whiffs on the linebacker
• Pancakes defensive tackle on Marlin Lane’s long third quarter run

Tennessee vs. Alabama
• Struggles with the strength of Jesse Williams against the bullrush, holds out anchor long enough though
• Gets one snap at left tackle and takes a false step off the snap, gets beat by a speed rush
• Engaged by Damion Square on a draw play who roots him out of the middle, unable to spot incoming stunt by the defensive end
• Tries to pull from left to right and kick out Square who stones him at the spot, running back runs into the back of Thomas
• Fails to leverage out his defensive tackle on an inside shovel pass, who makes the play
• Plays left tackle for last nine minutes of game times
• Lunges at Dee Milliner in open field on a swing pass and whiffs, never comes to balance

Tennessee vs. Georgia
• Unable to disengage from double on defensive tackle to get to Alec Ogletree on inside run
• Starts getting snaps at left tackle in the second quarter
• Gets to second level but fails to lower pad level and break down, misses on Ogletree
• Effectively mirrors Ogletree in 1 v. 1 situation on a blitz, moves feet quickly

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