Jackets’ Thomas still grounded, but he’ll top all in NFL

Demaryius Thomas has to play the role of spectator at the NFL scouting combine and again at Georgia Tech's "Pro Day."

Demaryius Thomas was a spectator at the NFL scouting combine and Georgia Tech's "Pro Day."

On the same day most on the Georgia Tech campus were thinking about basketball, the football practice field was covered with dozens of NFL scouts, officials and even three head coaches for  “Pro Day” Monday.

As one scout put it, “This is a little bit unusual.”

Football isn’t a foreign concept at Tech. But having four players projected to go early in the NFL draft is.  Derrick Morgan, Demaryius Thomas, Jonathan Dwyer and Morgan  Burnett all should be successful in the pros. But it says here the most impactful NFL player will be the guy who was forced to watch Monday’s drills while wearing a walking boot: Thomas.

His size (6-3, 229), strength, toughness, blocking ability and his willingness to go after the ball project well for an NFL wide receiver. He doesn’t have blazing speed but he doesn’t need it.

When Thomas suffered a broken left foot the week before the scouting combine, it prevented him from doing any drills in Indianapolis. He was still in a boot on Monday and likely won’t start light running for at least two weeks. But that shouldn’t be a significant issue.

“I felt like I could’ve helped my draft stock if I had worked out here,” Thomas said. “But hopefully I can have my own pro day before the draft and bring my stock back up. They told me I’ll be alright. It’s not a bad injury.”

NFL teams will want to see Thomas run 10- and 40-yard dashes at some point, just to ease any concerns. (There’s not a big market for gimpy wide receivers.) That likely will happen 10 days before the draft.

But how much can you really tell from these workouts? It’s limited.

Even Falcons Mike Smith, who was among those in attendance Monday with Chicago head coach Lovie Smith and Arizona’s Ken Whisenhunt, seemed to watch with only a casual interest. Speaking not about Thomas but draft prospects in general, Smith said:  “Some teams want to see you run. Some believe there are certain things you can see in drills. But as a coach, I just want to turn on the film. I want to know if the guy can play.”

Thomas can play. He had 46 receptions, eight touchdowns and averaged over 25 yards per catch in an option offense. (Funny. At one point Monday, he said: “I really don’t know what kind of offense I should be in. I played here in the wishbone.”)

As for his perceived lack of speed, he said: “I’m not saying I’m a blazer or anything, but you’ve got some people who think I’m a 4.6. That’s an insult. I ran a 4.38 and a 4.42 in workouts. I was like, ‘Oh man, I’m going to go to the combine and blow it up.’ Then I broke my foot. It’s frustrating. It was like I had to start over again. But hopefully it will all work out.”

Question: Of the Jackets’ top four pro prospects, whom do you think will be the best NFL player?

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92 comments Add your comment

Bob Didier caught here

March 15th, 2010
1:57 pm

First with a smile!

mdk222

March 15th, 2010
1:59 pm

First. Derrick Morgan

Yellowjacket 1

March 15th, 2010
2:02 pm

Any update on how Dwyer, Burnett, and Morgan performed?

Ramblin Wrecker

March 15th, 2010
2:03 pm

Personally I think Jon Dwyer will have the most impact. I think he’s a feature NFL back. So much is made about 40 times, but like Coach Smith said, when you put on the film that’s what matters. And when you put on the film of Dwyer you see a guy who can run up the gut or around the edge and can run over LB’s and run away from DB’s. There’s plenty of film to prove it.

I do believe Thomas will be an excellent receiver, his impact will be less simply because of his position. Dwyer could be the guy on center stage and I think he’s got the skills to be a star.

huntergt13

March 15th, 2010
2:05 pm

Dwyer will be the best. He has proven that he can take the hits, and still have legs in the 4th. I hope he is drafted by the right team and gets to mature into the ProBowl back that he can be.

Bryan G.

March 15th, 2010
2:09 pm

I’m not saying he’s slow…but I don’t buy that he ran a 4.38. I would guess he’s a low 4.5s guy which is still great for his size.

I agree with you, Jeff. Out of the Tech guys in the draft, I would say he’s most likely to make an impact.

bruce mac

March 15th, 2010
2:11 pm

I would love to see Thomas in a Falcons uni. He is a stud no doubt.

ed

March 15th, 2010
2:17 pm

thanks for dropping that pass against the dawgs bay-bay, LOL and Dwyer is soft, fat, and will get clobbered in the NFL.

Can he catch this!

March 15th, 2010
2:18 pm

I bet he drops it.

Dan

March 15th, 2010
2:22 pm

Initially I think Dwyer will be the better of the four, but long term I think it’ll be Morgan because I think he’ll perform well and he plays a premium postion. Of course, this all assumes they remain healthy.

Dan

March 15th, 2010
2:22 pm

Dwyer is many things but soft and fat aren’t among them, ed.

Justin

March 15th, 2010
2:24 pm

Derrick Morgan. Would love to have a GT player on the Falcons next year.

Pi$$onaDawg

March 15th, 2010
2:33 pm

ED you are too funny!! The UGA fans thought Cox was a good QB. Please don’t tell me about GT players. If Cox could PLAY maybe the UGA WR could have more rec. and yrds that Tech’s guy.

Pi$$onaDawg

March 15th, 2010
2:36 pm

ED the best UGA WR we have seen in yrs is the EX-QB Ward. Stop talking and worry about buying my Okie Ste Shirt for you to wear when the NCAA BBall turny starts. I love it that UGA fans are pulling fo OKIE STATE after the Okie State football team beat UGA’s JOKE of a QB.

lanier

March 15th, 2010
2:37 pm

I think D Morgan will make the biggest impression early on buy Thomas will be a all pro after a few years because a player at his position takes time to develop.
Both should be studs.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

March 15th, 2010
2:41 pm

do any of the drills that scouts like to watch players do ever have the players running in pads ?

BigTimeTECHFan

March 15th, 2010
2:53 pm

Biggest Impacts:
1. D Thomas
2. J Dwyer
3. M Burnett
4. D. Morgan
5. S Griffin LB

chris o bomb

March 15th, 2010
3:06 pm

all four are such a superior and unique talented group. if they all stayed one more year, we would win it all and they would get alllll the attention besides pryor, green, j jones.

Buckhead Dawg

March 15th, 2010
3:08 pm

Why do you dorks care how these guys will fare in the NFL? They left GT as soon as possible – they wanted out, away from that god awful place. Not sure how they got lured there but once they got there they knew they had to get out. And who can blame them?

GA Tech Insider

March 15th, 2010
3:08 pm

For anyone interested, Jonathan Dwyer, Morgan Burnett, and Cord Howard did particularly well at GA Tech’s Pro Day today.

Pi$$onaDawg

March 15th, 2010
3:15 pm

Cord is the best classiest man I know. He is what GT should be in terms of Student Athletes. Cord is a MAN and a CLASS MAN.

tyger

March 15th, 2010
3:17 pm

Falcoons Easy Button 1.0

1.19 Golden Tate, WR, ND
3.81 John Jerry, OL, Ole Miss
3.97 Jimmy Graham, TE, Mia
4. 115 Brandon Lang, DE/OLB, Troy
5. 130 Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss
5. 161 Danario Alexander, WR, Mizz
6. 163 Myron Lewis, CB, Vandy
6. 179 Clifton Geathers, DE, SC

wesleywhatwhat

March 15th, 2010
3:17 pm

biggest impact? jonathan dwyer, imo.

Morgan Burnett

March 15th, 2010
3:19 pm

The NFL scouts had me chase a mocked-up Caleb King but he still ran untouched for a 75-yard touchdown en route to a 30-24 UGA victory.

I blamed my dreds for the poor aerodynamics in my failure to lay a finger on Caleb King.

30-24 Dawgs - WE RUN THIS STATE!

March 15th, 2010
3:21 pm

Too bad Ben Jones & the UGA offensive line weren’t there to pancake Derrick Morgan like they did all night long in November at the Joke by Coke.

Bay-Bay Thomas

March 15th, 2010
3:22 pm

Coach Johnson had me try to catch 4 passes in a row but after I dropped the 4th one he told me had bigger fish to fry than worrying about me playing in the NFL.

Dan

March 15th, 2010
3:25 pm

They didn’t pancake him one time, 30-24. But don’t let facts get in your way.

And Buckhead Dawg, can we say the same about Stafford and Moreno? Honestly, it’s not Tech’s fault no one wants UGA’s juniors/RS sophmores.

Johnny Dwyer

March 15th, 2010
3:26 pm

I have to admit, I was totally outplayed by Caleb King and Washuan Ealey as the Dawgs made it 8 out of 9 against us. We tried to get all the way turnt up but then they rushed for 330+ yards and I was like dayum I wanted to put on for my city.

kshizzle

March 15th, 2010
3:29 pm

I like Dwyer and Morgan to have the most impact. Bebe would need to be in a top flight QB’s offense and there just are not enough of those in the league. As for Dwyer’s speed I never understood the reported times from the combine. I even saw two numbers that were different. I even saw one report that said he was a dissapointment and another that said he was a pleasant surprise. The good review was that he actually showed he could catch and had better shifftyness then believed. We as fans all know he has the power and can be a straight ahead runner but we have seen him change directions quick enough to put defenders on their a$$, we have seen him run over, through and drag linebackers and we have all seen that he appears to be faster then most secondary players. What do all the DB’s and Safety’s in college football run no better then a 4.7??? Dwyer has looked blazing at some times and a little fat sometimes. However he is faster then Michael Turner and probably a better runner so you do the match of what he is capable of. Turner had 1500 yards that first year in Atlanta.

Dan

March 15th, 2010
3:33 pm

Johnny Dwyer, you know they had 4 guys keying on you, right? As good as you were for Tech, even you can’t take on the whole team.

And Caleb and Washaun will certainly be envious of the paycheck you’ll be receiving. Unfortunately for them, the NFL has no interest.

kshizzle

March 15th, 2010
3:33 pm

If my primary need is a 4 down running back I take Dwyer. People have been saying Spiller but a good rushing defense can stop him. He is a special teams runner and a back-up running back/receiver. If you need one of these guys (like Jerious Norwood) then you take Spiller.

Ben

March 15th, 2010
3:43 pm

“For anyone interested, Jonathan Dwyer, Morgan Burnett, and Cord Howard did particularly well at GA Tech’s Pro Day today.”

Glad to hear Ga Tech Insider. Do you happen to know Dwyer’s 40 time? He seems a lot faster than what he ran at the Combine.
I would not mind seeing D. Morgan’s stock drop if the Falcons could pick him up at #19.

James T. Kirk

March 15th, 2010
4:19 pm

The second greatest college wide receiver in the history of the sport. Only second to Calvin Johnson.

Cobb Jacket

March 15th, 2010
4:20 pm

Is there anyplace here to go and discuss college football/basketball in a mature, resepctful manner while focusing on the big picture, ie national exposure. Can we set up a seperate forum for uga fans to post there repetitive “we run this state” posts and leave the intelligent discussion untainted. Good for you, you beat us in both football and basketball, you do run this state, unfortunately, the college football/basketball worlds do not stop at the state lines. Enjoy your past glories while we play this week in a national tournament.

Eaasssyy

March 15th, 2010
4:43 pm

Good one Kirk. Second best receiver in the history. hahahahaha

All dawg

March 15th, 2010
4:52 pm

I am a pure Georgia fan but I do have the ability to evaluate guys without any bias. Dwyer will not be an impact in the NFL right away. Bacause at GT he did not show he could pass block/ blitz pick up, catch the ball, or run in a zone concept. The NFL is all about the zone running concept. GT just did straight dives with Dwyer who had big holes to go through because the O-line had massive splits so the running lanes were larger just due to that alone. Dwyer may develop into a solid back in the NFL but it wont be for a few years maybe sooner if he can pick it up quick. Thomas has potential but has not shown me enough in his time at GT. Yes he did have good numbers but he only ran 3 different routes: a fly, post, and hitch. In the NFL a WR must know the whole route tree. Thomas has good size and I do not care about a 40 time, all I care about is can you get open an can you catch. Thomas has had trouble with the latter, anyone remember a certain 4th down drop in November? Sorry that was the obligatory UGA fan trash talk. The defensive guys have the best chance to make it big right away as they played against pro style offenses on a weekly basis. Morgan has the best chance to start in week one. Good size and speed and has a nose for the ball.

FYI: Dawg fans didnt really care for Joe Cox, he did a decent job but not what was expected. Just wait for next season when everyone around the country will hear about the great redshirt freshman Aron Murray tearing up the SEC. 30-24 it will get uglier next year.

Gator On The Loose

March 15th, 2010
4:54 pm

“They left GT as soon as possible – they wanted out, away from that god awful place. Not sure how they got lured there but once they got there they knew they had to get out. And who can blame them?”

Can you say NoShown Moreno and Mattie Stafford??? They ran out of dodge just in time.

1980 was soooooooo long ago.

GTFan

March 15th, 2010
4:58 pm

ed

March 15th, 2010
2:17 pm

thanks for dropping that pass against the dawgs bay-bay, LOL and Dwyer is soft, fat, and will get clobbered in the NFL.

You’re an idiot! Dwyer is awesome, and will go far in the NFL!

GTFan

March 15th, 2010
4:59 pm

I am a die heart GT Fan, but I am so glad to see Jox Cox gone!!!

GTFan

March 15th, 2010
4:59 pm

UGA fans are so ...

March 15th, 2010
5:10 pm

What time is UGA’s next mens basketball game?

Izell Stephens

March 15th, 2010
5:17 pm

GOOD LUCK BAY BAY.. EVERYTHING GONNA WORK OUT GOOD.. KEEP YA HEAD UP AND THE NFL WILL SOON SEE UR NATURAL TALENT…

Turnt_Up!

March 15th, 2010
5:19 pm

I love how people assume that just because offensive players at GT played in the option offense, they can’t play in a pro-style offense. This just in, ballers just ball. You could run a wishbone, triple option, proset, single back, run-and-shoot. Dwyer can flat out fun the ball, speed/size/vision combo is unreal. Can’t coach size, can coach routes. Bay-Bay nice combo of size/speed/toughness. Both will do OK. Morgan’s motor is amazing, a little undersized I think on the next level.

1980NationalChamps

March 15th, 2010
5:20 pm

Dang that was a long time ago! I guess you’re still waiting for another Hershel Walker to come around- huh? I wouldn’t rest my hopes on Erin Murray…please. Get over yourself! Oh…and Ed…you are a loser!

GT!

March 15th, 2010
5:23 pm

Derrick Morgan is an outstanding player and guess what…we have more that no one has even seen yet. A team is only as good as its coach and we have a heck of a coach that is now implementing his own players in his own system. We will continue to rise and Georgia will continue to be mediocre. My prediction: YA’LL WILL RUN MARK RICHT OFF WITHIN THE NEXT THREE YEARS BECAUSE YOUR EXPECTATIONS ARE SO RIDICULOUS THAT YOU CAN’T COMPREHEND YOU ARE AN AVERAGE TEAM!!!!

PantherPride

March 15th, 2010
5:28 pm

Once these kids leave school I don’t give a rats behind about the college they came from. Once any of them are recruited to the team I pull for they are a Panther not a Yellow Jacket or Bulldog. I hope for the best for all college players trying to make it in the NFL.

White&Gold

March 15th, 2010
5:29 pm

Derrick Morgan will make the quickest impact and is a gifted player. But Morgan Burnett will shock many that either have not seen him play or have overlooked him due to the horrendous play of the overall Tech D last year. Go back to his junior year and watch the film of when he had quality play around him. Thomas will be the third most impactful of the Tech quad but make no mistake about it…he is not as talented as Calvin Johnson. Last, Dwyer. He simply was taken out of too many games at the collegiate level for me to truly believe he will become great on the next level. But he could be very good…He has a knack for breaking one on one tackles and you have to wrap him up. He also is a better receiver than many think. Did he ever drop a pass while at Tech? I know he made a couple of splending catches (though extremely rare) out of the backfield.

GT fans are so....

March 15th, 2010
5:33 pm

UGA’s next game is a pickup game with GT at midnight this Friday. They are expecting the tools to catch the Red Eye after their typical one and done showing in the tourney.

Rational Dawg Fan

March 15th, 2010
5:34 pm

I think D Morgan will have the biggest impact, assuming he can stay healthy. Dwyer could be really effective in the right scheme and Thomas is a solid talent at WR. Burnett seems like the weakest of the four, but that does not mean I think he is weak as the other 3 are special talents. Regardless, all four project to have solid pro careers.

Cobb Jacket, while I agree that it would be nice to have a mature discussion and some of the “UGA Fans” on here are clearly idiots you must not have frequented the UGA/GT AJC blogs for much of the year after GT won in 2008. On a daily basis, there were a large number of “GT Fans” making similar immature comments that these so-called “Dawg Fans” are making here.

Luke Skywalker

March 15th, 2010
5:35 pm

Speaking of “one and dones,” if I were a Yech fan I’d be worried. I think 13 points and 9 boards per game is worthy enough for yet another ONE AND DONE player to bolt the ghettos of North Ave!!!!!

Enjoy Favors in his last game this Friday night, douchebags!!!!