Logan Thomas impressed NFL scouts on hand today in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine by posting the top readings in three of the five drills he participated in. He came in second in another, and fourth in the final test. This showing easily ranked him first among participating QBs (Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater opted not to run or throw this week) in overall athletic ability.
We've all known for quite some time that if Logan Thomas were able to match his athletic gifts with the decision-making part of his game, that he'd be quite a weapon at the NFL level. After early success in 2011, leading the Hokies to an 11-3 record and a Sugar Bowl win vs Michigan (i know); the enigmatic Thomas finished his Hokie career surrounded by a lesser cast of players than the typical Tech QB is accustomed to having at their disposal, and went just 15-11 in his final two seasons as signal caller. With several shaky performances of his own, Thomas went from being a likely first round choice to the cusp of going undrafted, depending on who is doing the assessment.
At present, CBS has Logan ranked as the 14th best QB with a draft weekend landing spot in the 7th round, with a distinct possibility of going undrafted. Here is the link:
As previously stated, Logan participated in five drills. We'll focus on his comparative performance in each of the three he finished first in, starting with the 40-yard dash:
40 yard dash
Thomas put up a 4.61 on his second attempt, which is tops in the 2014 QB class. By comparison, Cam Newton (similar size) ran a 4.59 in 2011, finishing third to our very own Tyrod Taylor who put up a 4.51 (5th best since 2006) that year. The 4.61 was tops, but it wasn't that much better than the rest of the group that rounded out the top 5. Here is the rest of the top 5:
- Logan Thomas, VT: 4.61 seconds
- Stephen Morris, Miami (FL): 4.63 seconds
- Connor Shaw, USC-E: 4.68 second
- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 4.68 seconds
- Derek Carr, Fresno St: 4.69 seconds
The best ever time in the 40 yard dash is by Reggie McNeal of Texas A&M in 2006, when he put up a blazing 4.35, before being selected by the Cincinnati Bungles. Naturally, Mike "Petsmart" Vick might have weighed in, but the records on NFL.com only date back to 2006. Mike's brother Marcus (McDonald's aficionado) ran a 4.42 and posted the third best time.
Blake Bortles of Central Florida, who is being touted as a potential top 10, barely came in under 5 seconds at 4.93 seconds, just ahead of Katherine Webb arm candy AJ McCarron of Alabama. McCarron is inexplicably picked to go somewhere in the top three rounds. This despite displaying questionable athleticism in a system where the QB isn't asked to do anything besides throw to wide open five-star WRs; while being protected by a five-star OL, and handing the ball off to five-star tailbacks. He was rarely asked to lead a come from behind charge because the team was always ahead. For me, I can't reconcile why for some QBs their overall W-L success can weigh so heavily, while for others it's discounted completely.
What does this 40 time represent?
To me, it might make more of a difference towards some teams' ulterior motive: To move Logan to TE if he doesn't pan out at QB. With speed like this, he'd be able to measure up to the top three TEs' times from Friday's combine, finishing only .01 hundredth of a second behind consensus top TE prospect, Eric Ebron of UNC, who ran a 4.6 flat. Logan is also slightly taller than Ebron and almost the same weight. Just sayin.
As far as on-field application is concerned, how many times did Logan ever get 20 yards upfield in order to kick into gear? Hardly ever, and this won't change. The fact remains that Logan resembles a bucking bronco in a pen before the cowboy attempts to ride him when he's on a designed run play. And when it's time to escape pressure he's very slow winding up the wheels. It never failed to amaze me how lauded he was for being mobile, when he struck me as quite statuesque most of the time. For sure he was an effective battering ram, having converted 21 of 22 3rd or 4th and 1s as a redshirt sophomore in 2011, but that number dipped heavily once his weapons left for the pros and the OL devolved into a monkey crap fight.
I am aware that Logan wants to go the Tebow route and insist upon making a run at a QB job, I maintain that with his existing QB football IQ, that he could find pockets in any defense and make plays as a TE. Nonetheless, finishing first at any contest is always a bright spot, and a value-add to the resume.
Next we move on to take a look at the Vertical Jump....
Logan put up a 35.5 inch vertical, winning this event by a full inch. While he can dunk a basketball with ease, it's ranked 13th best since 2006, a half inch behind Marcus Vick in 2006. All time record was Josh Portis of Maryland in 2011, who put up a 40...which is truly impressive. The top five from earlier today:
- Logan Thomas, VT: 35.5 inches
- Derek Carr, Fresno St: 34.5 inches
- Connor Shaw, USC-East: 34 inches
- Blake Bortles, Central Florida: 32.5 inches
- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 31.5 inches
What Does This Vertical Jump Represent?
Much less for QBs than the 40 yard dash that's for sure. Rarely does a stationary leap straight into the air keep a QB out of the trainer's room, or help score a touchdown. However, it serves to show that the athlete has worked on improving all aspects of their physical game. At 6'6", Logan can easily see over the line already, there won't be any jump-throws. Johnny Fudging Football? That's another story. He might need a ladder back there behind a 6'7" bookend tackle.
Once again, the Vertical Jump exercise is going to cause more NFL personnel to ask Logan in interviews about how he would feel moving to TE. He's got enough jumping ability and height to be a red zone fade route option for years to come if he so chooses.
Finally, the historical group ahead of Logan includes some really high profile picks such as RGIII (a track star), Andrew Luck (#1 overall), and Tim Tebow (unwarranted 1st round pick, so don't rule out that ONE team falling in love with Logan and making his dreams come true).
Also in the top several are Marcus Vick and Tyrod Taylor once again. While I think both those guys were more polished passers than Logan, it just goes to show that VT is not only written-off as a school that can't produce QBs, but even in settings like these their athletic ability isn't given full due. If wins aren't important (more Tyrod's argument), and athleticism isn't important, then what's left? Some dude's interpretation and prior bias and prejudices towards QBs from the VT program, that's all.
Next we move to the last event in which Logan topped the charts, the Broad Jump.
Logan jumped 9'10", good enough for first this year, but it doesn't rank in the top 15 since 2006. Former Mizzou leader Brad Smith (also a track star) put up a 10'8" effort in 2006. Tyrod Taylor and Cam Newton put up matching 10'6"s in 2011. And Andrew Luck, Geno Smith, Jake Locker, and Josh Freeman all highlight the top 15. Let's take a look at how today's group fared:
- Logan Thomas, VT: 9'10"
- Connor Shaw, USC-East: 9'8"
- Blake Bortles, Central Florida: 9'7"
- Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville: 9'5"
- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 9'5"
Bridgewater didn't want to run the 40 this weekend, ostensibly as not to harm his present status as the top passer available this May. He has reportedly added 20-25 lbs in the off-season, and the added bulk might have cast a negative pall over his on-field achievements this past season. Again I ask what the criteria is! I'll also take this opportunity to remind many of you that Georgia's standout QB Aaron Murray was injured late in the season and is rehabbing and thus unable to participate.
What Does This Broad Jump Represent?
I have no clue. But we might want to check with the NFL's competition committee to see if it's something they intend to replace sudden death OT with. Or PATs, maybe the opposing QBs will have a broad jump contest for the point after. Once again, it's just another random feat of strength, which will be followed by Monday's "Airing of Grievances".
Other Notes From Sunday:
- Logan finished 2nd in the 20 yard shuttle to Shorty Manziel, who blazed through it in 4.03 seconds. Manziel definitely has more quickness than Logan, and is lower to the ground. The fact Logan finished ahead of the lighter Bridgewater is instructive as to the effort Logan puts into his training.
- Logan finished 4th in the three cone drill. This calls for agility that can only be found in a smaller man. Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois, reset the record this year at 6.55 seconds. Logan clocked in at just a half second behind. Not too shabby.
- Former Hokie recruiting target and archenemy Tajh Boyd must have forgotten that the combine was taking place this weekend as he performed miserably in virtually every test. Boyd may very well have taken himself out of the draft. I thought he was more than adequate to Clemson's needs but he has been playing with lotto-level NFL draft picks like DeAndre Hopkins (Texans) and Sammy Watkins (coming soon to a bottom-feeder near you).
When it all shakes out, who knows what impact this will have on Logan's prospects to earn a QB job in the NFL. It'll likely come down to his pro-day where he'll have to demonstrate he can throw the far-side out and stop sailing balls due to his all-arm throwing motion. If he has made strides at getting his core into the throw and working on his touch in leading WRs on the short, crossing routes, he may gain some serious traction due to these numbers.
If our WR corps lets him down with drops on Pro Day, or he makes the same mistakes he's made the last two years, the drum will beat louder for him to entertain moving over to the position that's ALWAYS seemed like a more natural fit: Tight End.
I'll be back with more on the combine from the defensive side of the ball later this week. VT still has Kyle Fuller, Antone Exum, and James Gayle left to go. Thanks for reading!
Please let me know if you agree/disagree in the comments below or on Twitter @gobblercountry. Have a great week!
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