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Scouting the OTs: Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
- Updated: February 11, 2013
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Ht: 6’5 Wt: 310
- Ideal frame for the position. Plus length. Well-built 310 lb lineman.
- Lots of experience vs. high level of competition. 37 consecutive starts in SEC. 25 at left tackle, 12 at left guard.
- Plays with good pad level and knee bend. Showcases plus flexibility.
- Adequate strength for the position.
- Adequate athletic ability for the position. Displays competent footwork. Coordinated when sliding and shuffling his feet. Diplays the ability to mirror defender in pass protection.
- Anchors well vs. bull rush. Displays adequate strength to hold up vs. NFL defensive linemen. Showcases proper hand placement in pass protection, allowing him to control the defender.
- At his best when in-line blocking.
- Fails to deliver a real jolt on contact. Rarely will he completely dominate the defender.
- Susceptible to the speed rush. While he possesses adequate athleticism, he can be a bit slow out of his stance at times and becomes vulnerable to speed around the edge.
- While he did pull some as an OG this past season, projects more as a reach and seal player than an athlete that can set the corner.
- Not an ideal ZBS prospect.
A 2012 3rd Team All-American guard, Dallas Thomas projects more as a left tackle prospect for the NFL game. Possessing the requisite measurables for the position, Thomas is likely to be given every chance possible to play the left side in 2013. After starting 25 consecutive games at left tackle for the Tennessee Volunteers, Thomas was kicked inside this past season for all1 2 contests. While his positional versatility enhances his overall value for this April’s Draft, another season at left tackle in the SEC would have done him well.
Thomas’s 2011 film showed a left tackle that possesses adequate strength and athleticism needed to protect his qb’s blindside in the NFL. While sometimes vulnerable to the speed rush, Thomas consistently showed the ability to slide and shuffle his feet well. He mirrors his opponent with ease while maintaining good knee bend and pad level. Not the strongest prospect in this year’s Draft, Thomas will have to put some work in the weight room in order to hold up against the NFL’s best. This isn’t to say that Thomas’s strength is a red flag; it’s not. Thomas presents as a player that has enough strength to lock onto the defender and control the action just long enough. However, you’d like to see some more impact, jolting hits/blocks on his film.
While Thomas is a solid athlete, he is best suited as an in-line blocker. He will struggle in space, and is not a good fit for a ZBS. He pulled quite a bit this past season at guard, but it looked like a struggle for him to get moving. Thomas will be able to reach and seal on the edge if need be, but it won’t be a strength.
Dallas Thomas projects as a solid 3rd round selection for a team looking to add an experienced, technically sound left tackle prospect with the chance of starting early in his career. Thomas’s experience at guard will help him transition to the inside in the event he is unable to keep up with the speed rushers in the NFL. However, I think Thomas will make a fine left tackle with a starting job in the NFL at some point before his 2nd year is over.
GRADE: 7.0 (see grading scale)
PROJECTED ROUND: 3rd round selection