Written by Kip Earlywine
Things just got very interesting.
In what could be argued is the most surprising declaration so far, Darron Thomas let it be known last night that he will forgo his senior season to enter the 2012 draft. Thomas isn’t a guy who’s (yet) talked about as a major quarterback prospect, but it seems pretty likely he will be in short order. He’s 6’3″, 215 lbs, and will likely post a very strong 40 time. He led the #6 offense in college football this year, and the year before he led Oregon to the National Championship game (the #2 offense nationally that year). Obviously, those offenses were built on the running game, but while Thomas could perhaps be labeled a bit of a game manager, he is capable of carrying an offense on his back from time to time. Thomas has a lot of similarities to Robert Griffin, and is, in my opinion, easily superior as a prospect to Ryan Tannehill. Robert Griffin could go as high as #2 overall, and if you buy into the source Rob cited the other day, there is a very real top 15 buzz for Ryan Tannehill right now.
Obviously, this could put Thomas right in Seattle’s wheelhouse at #11 or #12. That might seem high, but consider the alleged draft stock for Tannehill or how highly Jake Locker was drafted last year. Thomas may not deserve that high a grade, but remember that quarterbacks are usually over-drafted. Thomas wouldn’t have passed up a shot at a 2012 National Championship to be a 7th round pick. Perhaps he received a good review from the NFL draft committee?
Regardless of where Thomas actually ends up drafted, he is exactly the kind of quarterback Seattle is looking for, and if their interest in Colin Kaepernick last year was an indication, I expect them to rate Thomas highly. As of right now, Thomas is a bit of an under-rated prospect, but if Tannehill can fly up the boards, so can Thomas. I’ll post more thoughts on Thomas over the next few days.
In the meantime, here’s a video of Thomas playing in the Rose Bowl (full game). I’m not sure how long it will last as that seems like a pretty blatant copyright issue, but its there right now! You can find even more games in thornsx’s corresponding youtube channel.