After a relatively lackluster redshirt-junior season, Logan Thomas is still in the NFL spotlight.
On a teleconference Tuesday morning, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. weighed in with his thoughts on Virginia Tech’s quarterback.
“The guy was expected to be a tight end when he came (to Tech), so he’s still a little rough around the edges,” Kiper said. “But when you look at the talent, he’s more talented than any quarterback that’s going to be in this draft.
Following Thomas’ big redshirt-sophomore season, many had him projected as a top 10-15 overall pick. However, many have doubts about the 6-foot-6, 260-pound quarterback’s NFL prospects after he threw 14 interceptions and 17 touchdowns in 2012.
The quarterback draft class along with Thomas was expected to be stellar, but many underperformed. Southern California’s Matt Barkley, West Virginia’s Geno Smith and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones all disappointed, leaving Georgia signal-caller Aaron Murray as arguably the top prospect at the position.
“That’s the thing you just have to always factor in,” Kiper said of Thomas. “Is he out of the first round completely? I can never just move out of the first round completely anybody with his size and his arm and his athletic ability. You can coach him up in the NFL and there’s a lot to work with there. He’s the kind of guy who needs a quarterback coach, needs to work on some things.”
Thomas has stated throughout the season he has intentions of returning for his redshirt-senior season, but will still submit his paperwork to the NFL Draft Advisory Board. The board scouts players and returns a grade of what round they might be selected in.
“He’s got the size; he’s got the arm; he’s has the mobility within the framework of the pocket, maneuverability within the pocket,” Kiper said. “He didn’t have a great supporting cast around him. He’s going to be in the Senior Bowl, as will some of these other quarterbacks, so that’s going to be an important week down in Mobile.”
The Hokies don’t have another player that could be drafted in the first several rounds, the closest being defensive end James Gayle. Gayle had five sacks and 40 tackles in the 2012 season.
Kiper said that Gayle would be smart to return for his redshirt-senior season.
“Again, not a guaranteed first-round pick. If you’re not, then you should go back,” Kiper said. “If I’m James Gayle, I’m going to think about another year at Virginia Tech and put up good numbers and be a dominant pass rusher I think will help his cause.”
Hokies agree to 2-for-1 deal with Old Dominion
Old Dominion and Virginia Tech have agreed to a three-game football series for the 2016, 2018 and 2019 seasons, with the Monarchs traveling to Blacksburg for games in 2016 and 2019.
The Hokies will travel to Norfolk for a game at Foreman Field in 2018.
The Monarchs, who will move to the Football Bowl Subdivision level next year, have never played the Hokies. Their football program has only existed since the 2009 season, and they’ve made the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs the last two years.
The Hokies have now scheduled games with many of the state’s second-tier teams. In addition to the games against ODU, Tech will play William & Mary (2014, 2018), Liberty (2018) and Richmond (2021).