'DAT' Guy Is Fast, Indeed
By John Baker
As it turns out, Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas was quite correct -- he isn't a 4.50 guy in the 40. He proved that Thursday afternoon during the Oregon pro day in Eugene.
Thomas had an official time of 4.50 seconds at the NFL Combine, casting a bit of a shadow over where teams saw him in the coming draft. However, Thomas had assured anyone who would listen that he was not that guy, but the speedster that electrified Oregon crowds and terrorized opposing defenses for the better part of the last three years. He would, he said, run fast at the pro day.
Thursday afternoon, Thomas dropped a 4.39 40 on the assembled throng of scouts, coaches and player personnel people, though some scouts had him at 4.34. All of which solidifies that fact that Thomas can leg it big-time. Most draft analysts have Thomas going in the late third or early fourth rounds, but with the NFL's love of speed and playmaking -- something Thomas showed he had in abundance at Oregon, surprises could await. While the performance Thursday may have done little to help Thomas move up in the draft, it did solidify the fact that he's fast and that's something the NFL covets.
Thomas also surprised visitors to the Moshofsky Center by participating in most of the drills. Originally, he said he'd only participate in the 40. He was impressive throughout, registering identical leaps of 123 inches on his two attempts at the standing long jump, a 34-inch vertical and nine bench-press reps of 225 pounds. He also caught passes with ease, including a couple circus-type grabs that drew some oohs and aahs.
Wide receiver Josh Huff looked good catching passes posted a 40 time of 4.47 seconds and displayed a 32-inch vertical. Defensive back Terrence Mitchell clocked a 4.56 while defensive tackle Taylor Hart added a 4.86, not bad for the big guy, as well as a 30-inch vertical. He looked impressive performing position drills designed by Colts defensive line coach Gary Emanuel.
Linebacker Boseko Lokombo and defensive tackle Wade Keliikipi also participated.
By all accounts, scouts were impressed with Oregon's potential pro prospects and several of the players either solidified their standing or helped themselves with Thursday's workout.