The Denver Broncos brought in a pair of College Free Agent (CFA) Wide Receivers after the 2013 NFL Draft was completed. We have covered one of them, Quincy McDuffie, and today, we’ll take a closer look at the other one. His name is Lamaar Thomas.
Lamaar is a 6’-0”, 187 lb. 23-year old prospect out of New Mexico. He also played at Ohio State. NFL Draft Scout rated him as the 81st out of 342 Wide Receiver prospects across the nation and 640th overall in the 2013 Draft class. He wasn’t expected to be drafted and didn’t receive an invitation to the Scouting Combine. Here are his Pro Day measurables:
40 Yard Time – 4.40
20 Yard Split – 2.53
10 Yard Split – 1.52
Bench Press – 16
Vertical Jump – 38”
Broad Jump – 123”
20 Yard Shuttle – 4.24
3-Cone Drill – 6.80
Arm Length – 30 3/8″
Hand Length – 8 1/4”
Thomas graduated Friendly High School in Ft. Washington, Md. an all-state selection as a senior when he totaled 1,690 all-purpose yards. He had career rushing totals of 2,623 yards and 20 Touchdowns along with 1,209 career receiving yards with nine scores. He was the Maryland state champion at 55 and 100 meters, the state runner-up in the 200 and has been reportedly timed as fast as 10.30 in the 100m.
In 2008, Lamaar enrolled at Ohio State where he became one of the regular deep men on kickoffs. He appeared in 10 games and averaged 21.6 yards on a team-high 16 kick returns along with 4 catches. Thomas made slow progress in the passing game as a freshman, because the high school running back was still caught between positions.
“When he came out of high school he was a running back-slash-receiver,”coach Darrell Hazell said. “He was a very fast guy that didn’t play fast. Now he’s starting to play fast.”
The 2009 season saw him appear in all 13 games, again mainly as a Special Teams guy, but he also made 5 catches for 39 yards and had a 6-yard run on Offense. Lamaar averaged 20.9 yards on a team-high 18 Kickoff Returns in 2009 for the Rose Bowl champions. Thomas also ran track for the Buckeyes, finishing 4th in the 100 meters (10.65) at the 2009 Big 10 Track Championships and helped the Buckeyes’ 4×100 relay team capture gold (40.55).
In 2010, Thomas sat out after transferring from Ohio State to New Mexico. He was unsure where he ft in the Buckeye’s Offense and wanted to be a Wide Receiver, so OSU released him from his scholarship.
Thomas: “I have great speed, quickness and vision. I also have a great knowledge of the game. I’m a good mover and can make a cut and use my speed to get away, but I still want to improve my route-running and hands. I want to catch the ball better.”
If Lamaar thought he was going to be catching more passes, he went to the wrong program. The Lobos were a run dominant team and he would spend more time blocking than receiving. That isn’t exactly the kind of development you want to see in a speed guy that needs to develop as a Receiver.
Thomas Lettered 2 years for the Lobos. He started 10 of 39 games during that time, with 29 catches for 360 yards, a 12.5 average and 3 Touchdowns. He also rushed for 238 yards on 31 carries, with a 7.1 average and a long of 53 yards. Lamaar continued with his main role as the primary Kick returner, with 48 run backs for a 21.0 average and a long of 37.
As a Junior in 2011, Thomas was limited to four games (3 starts) due to ankle and foot injuries. He finished the season with 9 receptions for 156 yards, and his two Touchdown catches ranked 2nd on the team. He also had 10 carries for 50 yards and 11 Kickoff Returns for 251 yards for a 22.8-yard average.
During his Senior campaign, Lamaar was one of the Lobo’s most versatile Offensive players. He had a team-high 15 catches for 165 yards and one Touchdown, while rushing for 220 yards on 31 carries, a 7.1-yard average.
Nicknamed “Flash”, Thomas is one of the most athletically gifted players on the team who just started to tap into his potential in 2012. He has the speed and the work ethic to get a look in the Pros.
Thomas put on a show at his Pro Day as scouts from the Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills put him and 14 other former Lobo football players through the same set of drills used by the NFL at its annual scouting combine.
Thomas did 17 reps on the Bench Press, a personal best that would have ranked him somewhere in the middle among the Wide Receivers who were invited to the NFL Combine. Unofficially, he was timed at 4.36 seconds in the 40-yard dash — a time that would have been the 4th fastest among wideouts at the combine and tied for 5th overall. Thomas was also unofficially clocked at 6.6 and 6.7 seconds in his two attempts at the 3-cone drill, an exercise designed to measure quickness, agility and ability to change direction. Either time, if accurate, would have placed him in the top five at the combine.
Thomas may not have ideal size, but he’s certainly not too small, and the bottom line is that he is one of the smoothest backs in this class. He is a speedy glider who is extremely light on his feet and demonstrates outstanding elusiveness. He’s a versatile running back prospect.
When projecting Lamaar Thomas it’s all about potential. He has NFL speed and has shown flashes of game breaking ability over time, but needs to stay on the field. Thomas has lacked consistency, but if he can put it all together he can play at the next level. At the very least, he will get a look from the NFL as a Kick Returner thanks to his track speed.
How he fits in Denver:
Thomas’ speed and quickness are what stand out, as a two-sport athlete who lettered as a track athlete for three years at New Mexico. He is a shifty back that can cut on a dime who also shows very good vision and a good burst once he’s sees daylight. Lamaar has excellent acceleration. He is quick and elusive, especially in the open field. Thomas can run between the tackles but is better suited to run wide because of his good speed and vision. He is also a good receiver out of the backfield.
Lamaar’s biggest drawback, is his tiny (8 1/4”) hands. He still needs to develop as a receiver and will be a project much like Matthew Willis was for the Broncos, though he will give them another option as a Kick Returner and Special Teams Gunner. As a possible 5th or 6th Wide Receiver, Special Teams effectiveness is an asset to have and can help any fringe player to stick on a roster. We will see how he does in Training Camp. I hope he surprises me, but my feeling is that he is a longshot to make the team, but could land a spot on the Practice Squad.
– Kaptain Kirk