Logan Thomas

NFL Draft Stock Report: Risers and Falls

Manti Te’o – LB – Notre Dame
Te’o  has developed into a more well-rounded linebacker this season, as I outlined on Bleacher Report earlier this week. As the unquestioned leader of the Irish defense and a four-year starter, Te’o also has all the intangibles that teams look for in a potential 1st-round pick. Entering the season I thought he was a fringe 1st-rounder, but he’s solidified his place among the top 32 picks in my opinion.

Stepfan Taylor – RB – Stanford
Taylor has been a workhorse for the Cardinal this year and is well on his way a third consecutive 1,000-yard season. Taylor entered the year a mid-round prospect, but his performance against USC caught the attention of scouts and he may have chance to climb into the top 50. It helps that this is a weak class of running backs, with only one prospect who looks like a 1st-round lock (Marcus Lattimore).

Dri Archer – RB – Kent State
Archer is a junior and will likely return for his senior year, but he is definitely an under-the-radar name to know. He’s listed at 5,8″, 164 pounds but is as explosive as anyone in the college game. Through three games this season Archer is averaging 8.6 yards per carry, 9.9 yards per reception and 42.2 yards per kickoff return. He has the type of explosive speed that could land him a spot in the 3rd or 4th round if a team is looking to add a new dimension to their offense.

Montee Ball – RB – Wisconsin
Ball left the Badgers game this past weekend with a head injury, which may have been his second concussion since this summer. In addition to the injuries, Ball has not looked like the same running back without the help of Russell Wilson, Kevin Zeitler and Peter Konz. At this stage, Ball looks like a fringe day-two prospect, and could easily slip into the 4th round or later.

Logan Thomas – QB – Virginia Tech
I still believe Thomas has a chance to be the No. 1 pick in the draft based on his enormous potential, but it’s hard not to take notice of his struggles the past two weeks. In each of the Hokies past two games (vs Pittsburgh, Bowling Green) he’s completed less than 50 percent of his passes. Inconsistent play from his number-one receiver, Marcus Davis, definitely doesn’t help, but Thomas needs to step up his game down the stretch to remain in the mix to be the top selection in April.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2013 NFL Draft Leave a comment

An early look at Logan Thomas

The 2013 draft process has officially begun, and to kick things I’ve decided to break down my top prospect entering the year: Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas.

Thomas is only a junior, but his size, athleticism and arm strength are unmatched by anyone in this year’s class. And while Matt Barkley will likely receive much of the early-season hype, if Thomas performs as expected he’ll have a chance to overtake Barkley as the consensus No. 1.

Is Logan Thomas the top quarterback in the 2013 draft class?

To get things started, I charted Thomas’ performance against Virginia and Miami in 2011. For each game I created an excel sheet (vs Miami 2011vs Virginia 2011) which includes a few stats and observations from each time he dropped back to pass (designed runs not included). You’ll also noticed on the right side of the excel sheet, his totals from that game in a few designated categories.

Here’s are my observations from these two games…

I’ll start with the biggest negative about Thomas’s game: his technique. When dropping back to pass, even under no pressure at all, his footwork is atrocious. He sometimes looks like a kid playing intramural football the way he drops back, with absolutely no concept for how to maneuver in the pocket or set his feet to throw. He routinely throws from an open stance and/or off his back foot, even when he has a solid pocket around him.

He’s likely developed these bad habits because he’s never been forced to refine them. Even now, he is often bigger than every defensive end and linebacker on the opposing team, so he’s rarely concerned with getting hit. On one play in the Virginia game he has a defender draped around his waist and still manages to throw a bullet to a receiver 12 yards down the field. With his size and arm strength, refined footwork has never been necessary. But it will become more of an issue at the next level, where defenders and bigger, stronger and faster and the passing lanes are smaller. It will be interesting to see how he develops this aspect of his game during the 2012 season.

Physical Tools
Thomas is a rare physical specimen and the only pros that he can reasonably be compared to are Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger. You just don’t find quarterbacks with his size and athleticism every day, which is exactly why he will be a top 10 pick when he enters the draft. While his designed runs aren’t included in the charts, Virginia Tech uses him on play action runs at least three to five times per game, and he consistently picks up five yards per carry. But what makes him even more special, and in this respect he’s more Newton and Roethlisberger, is the fact that he also has the speed to pick up chunks of yardage on the ground. He broke off long runs up the middle in both games.

Downfield Accuracy
Of the stats I charted, arguably most crucial is the “accuracy” category. Completion percentage is a good guideline, but there are a number of factors which can help or hurt a quarterback in this area. However, while charting accuracy I consider where the ball is placed in relation to the receiver and the defender. For example, a low throw towards the sideline to a receiver in tight coverage can be a great throw, but the same pass to a wide open receiver on a curl route would be classified as inaccurate. By this measure, the quarterback doesn’t benefit or get hurt by the play of his receivers.

Thomas’ completion percentage in both these games was impressive and, fortunately, he has the accuracy percentage to back it up. In both games combined, 18 of his 20 throws beyond 10 yards (measured from the line of scrimmage) were accurate. These are the types of throws NFL teams are most concerned with, and if he can continue that rate of accuracy into the 2012 season, he will solidify his place atop many draft boards.

Offensive Scheme
Virginia Tech runs an offense more similar to an NFL style than Baylor’s, so if Thomas has the tools to succeed no one will hesitate to make him a top pick. However, he does benefit from a favorable scheme which features plenty of snaps from the shutgun. Of the two games I charted, 88 percent of Thomas’ dropbacks came from the shotgun formation.

That said, Virginia Tech’s offense does feature a nice balance of deep, intermediate and short routes. Thomas has demonstrated the ability to remain patient in the pocket, and the ability to fire off a bullet to his receivers on a quick slant or dig pattern. So while he may not be as prepared to digest an NFL playbook as Matt Barkley, he definitely has to tools to play in any system.

What to watch for in 2012
I have no concerns whatsoever about Thomas’ skill set. Physically and mentally he has what it takes to be an elite quarterback at the next level. But he does need to polish up his footwork in the pocket. This issue immediately jumped out on tape, so it’s safe to assume the Hokies coaching staff has been working with him on some improvements. It should be fun to watch him develop, and we’ll get a good look at him in prime time as Virginia Tech opens the season on a Monday night against Georgia Tech.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2013 NFL Draft Leave a comment

Logan Thomas scouting report

Logan Thomas QB Virginia Tech #3
Ht: 6’6″
Wt: 260


Size/Athleticism: Elite size and strength. Built like Roethlisberger/Newton and equally tough to bring down. Can move around in the pocket to buy time and will also take off running. Virginia Tech typically uses him on designed runs, usually off play action, three to five times per game. He’s big enough to lower his shoulder and pick up the tough yardage but also fast enough to picks up chunks in the open field. Height/size seems to aid his confidence in the pocket, allowing him to easily see the whole field and giving him the confidence to stand in and take a hit when necessary. Occasionally used as a receiver as a freshman and caught a touchdown against Wake Forest.

Arm strength/Accuracy: Can make any throw on the field with the flick of his wrist. Looks very good on downfield throws, showing the ability to drop the ball in over the receivers shoulder on deep routes. Can also fire the ball on the line with ease and consistent accuracy on intermediate throws. Accuracy is inconsistent on shorter routes. Needs to learn how to take something off to improve his accuracy and also make the ball more catchable. Some of his receivers drops could be avoided by simply taking a little heat off the ball when it isn’t necessary.

Footwork/Release: Footwork is a mess. His arm strength is so great that he doesn’t seem to have focused on his fundamentals. More often than not he throws from an open stance or off his back foot. Surprisingly, he is usually able to maintain his accuracy despite the shaky technique, but it’s something that could become more of an issue at the next level. Has a solid, over-the-top delivery. Will occasionally drop down to a three-quarters delivery under pressure or on the run and typically maintains his accuracy when he does.

Decision making: Never managed to fully develop in this area. He handles pressure reasonably well due to his size and willingness to stand in the pocket. But no matter what the pressure is like, he just doesn’t read the defense. He routinely makes ill-advised throws into tight coverage and he never showed any progress in this area of his game.

Intangibles: Made very little progress throughout his career and arguably regressed following a standout sophomore campaign.

Durability: Battled various injuries during senior year (abdomen strain, foot injury).


Comments: We haven’t seen many quarterbacks come along with Thomas’ potential. But at this point, it’s all potential. After a standout sophomore year he looked like a future superstar but he showed minimal development over the past two seasons. From the shoulders down, he’s a No. 1 pick, but from the neck up he’s undraftable. He never made the necessary adjustments and his poor decisions plagued Virginia Tech for the past few years. You have to seriously question his motivation and effort when you compare his amazing raw talent to his pitiful production.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2013 Leave a comment