Adonis Thomas: 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of NFL Draft Prospect's Game
Adonis Thomas certainly isn't one of the biggest backs in this year's draft class, but make no doubt about it, he is hands-down one of the fastest.
The former Toledo standout stands at just 5'8", 185 pounds, but his speed and burst should land him a spot in an NFL training camp, whether it be as a draft pick or an undrafted free agent.
Despite playing for a small school, Thomas broke on the scene in 2010 and really made a name for himself in 2011 with an exceptional senior season at Toledo.
So what else do we need to know about Adonis Thomas?
Let's break down the six biggest strengths and weaknesses in his game.
Bleacher Report Style!
STRENGTH: Track Speed
Remember back in the day when you would play the Madden video games before they were so advanced and be able to run for a touchdown almost every time you escaped to the outside.
That is what it is like for Adonis Thomas once he gets past the initial defenders. He has outstanding speed, but it is his initial burst and explosion with the football that is so impressive.
He can simply turn on the jets at any time, and when he gets going, not many players are going to be able to catch this guy.
Thomas was not invited to this year's NFL Combine, but he ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at Toledo's Pro Day, which would have been the fifth fastest time of any running back participating in the combine.
This kid is what they call a "burner."
There are plenty of successful undersized running backs in the NFL today.
But guys like Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren Sproles all played at major universities and all adapted well to the NFL game in time.
That could happen one day for Thomas, but as of right now, he needs to add some muscle to his lean frame if he is going to be an every-down back in the NFL one day.
Because of his small size, Thomas also isn't an elite blocker and can often falter at times in pass protection.
This former Toledo standout looks like an ideal change-of-pace back in the NFL, but he will need to bulk up if he is going to be more than that in the future.
STRENGTH: Good Hands
In order to be a successful third down back in the NFL, you have to be able to block well and catch the ball out of the backfield on check downs.
Thomas will learn the blocking portion of that equation, but he already has a grasp on the catching part of it.
Thomas has very good hands and when he catches passes in the backfield, he does a great job of changing direction and using sharp cutback skills to make defenders miss. He is one of the most elusive backs in this year's draft class.
In his two years spent as a starter at Toledo, Thomas totaled 62 catches for more then 700 yards and three touchdowns.
Those solid numbers should tell the complete story right there.
WEAKNESS: Injury Concerns
When you weight less than 185 pounds and are receiving 15-25 carries a game, it's tough to keep your body healthy and avoid being shaken up from time to time.
There are certainly durability concerns when it comes to Thomas. He missed three straight games in 2011 after breaking a bone in his arm and then missed the final regular season game against Ball State as well.
He battled through several injuries throughout his time at Toledo, which leaves NFL scouts uncertain about his ability to stay healthy.
If he adds some more bulk and muscle in the offseason and beef up a little then coaches shouldn't be as concerned about this in the future.
STRENGTH: Determined Individual
Coming out of high school, Thomas was not highly recruited, which is why he ended up going to a MAC school like Toledo.
After redshirting in his first year on campus, Thomas saw very limited playing time as a reserve in 2008 and 2009. But he was determined to be the starter in his junior year, and when the team announced he had won the starting tailback spot heading into the 2010 season, Thomas took it and ran with it. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in both his junior and senior season on his way to being named an all-league selection.
Thomas also plays determined while on the field, never giving up on a play and often making it extremely tough for opposing defenders to bring him down, despite his smaller stature.
This determination should help Thomas land a spot on an NFL team.
WEAKNESS: Lack of Competition
Playing in the MAC conference, Adonis Thomas didn't have the chance to go up against the Alabama's and LSU's of the college football world.
Looking at Toledo's 2011 schedule, the toughest defenses Toledo faced were Ohio State and Boise State, both out-of-conference games. After that, it was probably Northern Illinois, who the Rockets scored 60 points against.
This is noteworthy because lining up against NFL caliber defenses could come as a shock to Thomas. Taking the field against Ball State is certainly different then lining up against the Baltimore Ravens.
This is just something that Thomas will have to adjust to at the NFL level.
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