File this under really lousy timing. On the same day Georgia Tech receiver Demaryius Thomas saw his name listed on Mel Kiper’s mock first round on ESPN.com, he broke his foot while training in Scottsdale, Ariz. So reports Tony Pauline on SI.com.
Thomas, known as Bay-Bay, broke his left foot in a three-cone drill. He’ll miss next week’s NFL combine. More from Pauline:
His agent, Todd France, told SI.com that it was a clean break and doctors expect a recovery time of four to six weeks. “There are no longterm effects from the injury and Demaryius will be 100 percent by the time OTA’s begin,” said France, who added that surgery is a possibility. “If surgery hastens the healing process, that is something we will consider.”
According to observers at Athletes Performance, where Thomas has been training, the 6-foot-3, 227-pound receiver had been turning in sensational workouts in preparation for the combine. He recently ran a verified 4.38 in the 40, which was recorded on film and will be sent to every team in the league, France told SI.com.
That glowing report jibes with Kiper what offered in his second mock draft on ESPN.com. He had Thomas projected to be taken by the Bengals with the 21st pick of Round 1. That was higher than Tech tailback Jonathan Dwyer, who’s excluded from Kiper’s Round 1 and also from his Big Board, which lists the top 25 overall prospects. (Links require registration.) Thomas was No. 21 on both, with Kiper offering this:
Here’s the big riser of the past couple of weeks. Thomas will be red-hot after the workouts get going. He’s a big target (6-3, 225 pounds) and a downfield threat. He averaged more than 25 yards per catch and remained productive in a run-based offense based. Carson Palmer needs weapons, and Thomas can be one.
And what of Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan? He’s No. 8 on the Big Board, and Kiper has him going 11th — to Jacksonville — his mock.
And what, you’re asking, of the Falcons? Well, Mel sees their Round 1 pick the same way Don Banks of SI.com saw it a few weeks ago — Kyle Wilson, a cornerback from Boise State. Here’s Mel K. on K. Wilson:
Wilson is another player who jumped at the Senior Bowl. He’s fluid, excellent in coverage and an immediate help on special teams. Wilson had a quiet season, but great cornerbacks often do. He simply wasn’t challenged enough. Stock is now back on the rise.
Scouts Inc. rates Wilson as the 28th-best player available and the third-best cornerback. (The Falcons will pick either 19th or 20th, depending on a coin flip with Houston.) Todd McShay of ESPN.com sees the Falcons taking a different cornerback — Kareem Jackson of Alabama — in Round 1. Scouts Inc. rates Jackson the 21st-best player and the second-best CB in the draft. But I’ll say it again:
Just because the outside world believes the Falcons need a cornerback doesn’t mean Thomas Dimitroff will take one in the first round. Dimitroff is especially picky about that position. (He’s considered one of the best judges of defensive backs in the business.) If he doesn’t think a guy has the potential to be a No. 1 NFL CB — a shutdown corner, in the vernacular — he’s not apt to draft him in Round 1. And Dimitroff doesn’t believe there are many shutdown corners in the entire league.
To reiterate: Were I betting, I’d still say the Falcons will take a pass rusher — be it a defensive end or an outside linebacker — with that first pick. But I’ve been wrong once or twice.