Yesterday I outlined the talents and shortcomings of Miami's second round draft choice, Jamar Taylor. Next up is the first of our two third round selections Dallas Thomas, the offensive lineman out of Tennessee. Offensive line is huge need for Miami going into the season, and the addtion of Thomas, though not addressing our biggest need on the line, a stud left tackle, should provide Miami some much needed depth on the line. Let's take a look.
What he does well: First and foremost on the list of what this kid does well is versatility. In his time at Tennesse, Thomas played both guard and tackle. That type of versatility is invaluable when it comes to depth on the offensive line. If someone in the starting lineup goes down to an injury (or suspension), you need to have a quality backup who is ready to come in and take his place. Having a guy that is competent at multiple positions frees up a roster spot for us to have another playmaker, running back, or defensive back rather than to have to waste a spot on a lineman who may never see the field. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Thomas is the game he played against the University of South Carolina. Lined up at the left tackle position, Thomas was entrusted with the responsibility of protecting Tyler Bray's blind-side agains one of the premiere pass rushers in the nation, Jadaveon Clowney. Clowney came out of that game managing only four tackles. Thomas played in the SEC against the best competition that college football has to offer and held up admirably.
What he needs to improve: The biggest area that Thomas needs to improve upon is his strength. Thomas has a tendency to give up ground to defenders, especially more powerful guys who utilize a bull-rush technique.
Where he fits: Thomas is most likely to be projected as a guard at the next level, at least until he addresses his strength issues. I anticipate Thomas battling Richie Incognito for a job at the Left Guard position, as Incoginto is not a great fit for the zone-blocking scheme that Philbin wants to run. I don't anticipate Thomas being able to unseat Incognito just yet, but I look for him to be in the starting lineup come his second year.
Highlight Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbkJrFl65lE
Welcome! My name is Chris Spooner. I am an overly-passionate Dolphins fan who has many opinions about his team, and the sports landscape as a whole. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy voicing them.