2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Daniel Thomas
Kansas State’s Daniel Thomas isn’t an explosive scat back or a massive bruiser. But he has the size, skills, and fluidity to be the perfect middle man at the next level.
Thomas put up impressive numbers the last two years at Kansas State, including 19 touchdowns in 2010, showcasing his “do it all” ability, and proving he has the talent to fit into an offense and excel at the next level. A strong combine will only further that belief.
Player Name: Daniel Thomas
Position: Running Back
School: Kansas State
Thomas is a no nonsense runner. He has a big, solid frame that can absorb punishment and inflict it, allowing him to run effectively in between the tackles. His speed is solid, but his athleticism can really be seen in his hips, as he’s a very fluid and natural runner. While not a burner, Thomas can give defenses major problems in open space, as he possesses the elusiveness to get past linebackers and the toughness to bull-doze anyone in the secondary.
Has a good injury history and hasn’t had a ton of work at the college level (two seasons), so he should have plenty of miles to give at the next level. Has experience as a receiver, but doesn’t have elite hands. Overall, he’s the complete package as a runner, without the dazzle effect.
Thomas can appear too stiff at times, and will enter the 2011 NFL season at 24. He’s not ancient, but since the average age of the average NFL player’s career is under 30 years old, teams won’t like that number. His tough running style and lack of elite speed will combine with the age factor to form three significant knocks that NFL scouts may not be able to look past.
His below average hands and weak route-running ability will also figure into his draft stock. His effectiveness as a power runner at the next level will likely be in question, as well, as his frame isn’t necessarily the norm for his running style. Will need to bulk up a little more to handle the beating at the next level, but more than anything will need to improve his leg strength, as most of his power appears to be generated from his upper body.
Thomas has some credible knocks, but overall he is a fine runner and capable of progressing into an every down back at the next level. Most of his short-comings are able to be corrected with hard work and discipline. Good, smart runners who can run in between the tackles and move the way he does are actually quite rare, and while he doesn’t have that extra gear scouts look for, he still has all the makings of a quality runner in the NFL. All of this combines to project him to go somewhere in the second or third round.
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