Should NFL Teams Be Doubting Thomas?
As far as defining statements go, it was the football equivalent of John McCain's "The fundamentals of the economy are sound" pronouncement that sank his 2008 presidential campaign.
Logan Thomas, once whispered to be the second coming of Cam Newton, needed a big game if he was going to rewrite the narrative of his college career. He was coming off a season that was, by any measure, horrendous -- his completion percentage dropped significantly from 2011 to 2012, his touchdowns were down, his interceptions up, and, worst of all, the Hokies had their worst season in a decade.
Now, here he was, opening his third season as Tech's starting quarterback against the No. 1 team in the country, the two-time defending national champs. If ever there were an opportunity to redefine himself as a quarterback prospect, opening day against Alabama was it.
To call it a missed opportunity doesn't quite do it justice. EuroDisney was a missed opportunity.
But to go 5-for-26 for 59 yards against Alabama, with a meager two yards rushing (he carried five times and didn't even rush from his head to his own toes), doesn't begin to tell the story of how far from glory Thomas had fallen. This was a guy once talked about as a potential No. 1 overall draft pick.
For Thomas' draft stock, that was Black Saturday. Yes, his receivers had contributed to the debacle; Thomas suffered more drops than someone with an AT&T plan. Still, had they made, what, eight more catches, he still would have barely hit the 50 percent completion threshold. Not a lot of NFL scouts are looking for quarterbacks whose every throw is a coin toss.
A funny thing happened, though, on his way up from rock bottom. Thomas got his groove back. He's completed 61.8 percent of his passes since his low Tide mark. Thrown no more interceptions than touchdowns (nine apiece).
Best of all, Virginia Tech started winning again. Winning with defense, primarily, but winning again. With Thomas at quarterback.
Consequently, Thomas' draft stock has been on the rebound. No longer is he viewed as the Quarterback Most Likely to Play Tight End in the NFL (though, let's face it, he could do it -- he was the top tight end prospect in the country coming out of high school, and had always intended to play that position in college).
Now, he's a top-10 quarterback prospect again, with even a few bold suggestions that he could sneak his way into the first two rounds.
I'm not sure he belongs among the top 64 picks (check this space on Thursday, Nov. 8th to find out in my Midseason Draft Prospects Rankings). Those picks are spent on immediate help.
But could Thomas be someone's quarterback of the future? He has five more games to put on film for scouts to evaluate. And if he continues to improve the way he has since starting ACC play, he'll give scouts no reason to watch that Alabama disaster. No reason to look back to 2012 at all, except as a baseline to measure just how far (back) he's come.
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