Athletic college quarterbacks who throw 30 or more touchdowns with single-digit interceptions and 60-plus percent accuracy in back-to-back years at a major program usually hear their name called in the NFL draft. Oregon's Darron Thomas didn't, and he didn't even get one of the hundreds of free-agent contracts team hand out after the draft.
Instead, Jeffrey Martin of The Oregonian reports that Thomas will try out for Pittsburgh Steelers the first weekend of May, the Cleveland Browns on the following weekend and then the Arizona Cardinals in the middle of the month. At this point, Thomas is striving to simply be included at an NFL training camp.
Thomas won the Rose Bowl and decided to jump to the draft as a junior, a season that was preceded by Thomas being part of a notorious traffic stop of fellow undrafted Duck CB Cliff Harris. Harris was clocked at 118 miles per hour and said "we smoked it all" when asked by a police officer about the location of the marijuana he could smell in the vehicle. Thomas was a passenger in the car, something CBS Sports Rob Rang said NFL teams would ask about before the draft.
They must not have liked the answer.
They probably didn't like his throwing motion either. National Football Post talent evaluator Wes Bunting describes it: "Has a lot of moving parts on his deliver however. Has a long, wind-up release, drops the football down and almost has a slight hitch. The ball comes out over his ear, but the timing at the next level is going to be tough for him to handle."
Thomas has been working out with his high school at Houston Shepherd High in Texas with former coach Bob Jones in preparation for the tryouts. Jones, called Thomas' "biggest backer" by George Schroeder of The Register-Guard, told Schroeder he tried to talk Thomas out of leaving early. Schroeder said Oregon head coach Chip Kelly did, too.
They were unsuccessful, and now Thomas faces long odds to even make a NFL practice squad. The Canadian Football League and the Arena League have called, according to The Oregonian, and unless Thomas wows an NFL team this month, he'll be calling them back.