Dallas Thomas: 5 Things to Know About the Tennessee Offensive Tackle
Tackles rarely get noticed by the average fan unless they give up a sack or take a penalty. You know a tackle is doing a great job when you're not hearing his name called out at all. It's ultimately a thankless job but the most lucrative non-skill position on offense.
Dallas Thomas started three seasons as a left tackle before shifting inside to guard in 2012. He excelled in both positions, but the fact that he was moved inside at all is a bit of an indictment for his abilities as a tackle.
Which position he projects to play in the NFL will come down to team needs and scheme, but Thomas looks like a prospect set to make an impact early in his career.
Combine results courtesy of NFL.com. College stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com.
Name/DOB: Dallas Treymell Thomas, Oct. 30, 1989
Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
High School: Scotlandville Magnet High School
Thomas has three years of starting experience in the SEC under his belt, spending his sophomore and junior seasons at left tackle. In 2012, the UT coaching staff decided it would be for the betterment of the team if Thomas would move to guard in his senior season.
After red shirting during his freshman season in 2008, Thomas played in all 13 of the Volunteers' games as a blocker for the extra point and field goal units. He has played in and started every game for UT since 2010.
Thomas won awards as a player at both positions but likely projects to play guard in the NFL.
Thomas is a well-built, athletic positional blocker who is best when moved inside to guard. He is one of the better power-based blockers in this year's draft class, utilizing good overall size as a weapon. His frame suggests that there is still room to grow.
He doesn't excel in any one area of his game. Instead, he is simply solid in most areas, playing with consistency rather than the strength and aggression that is sometimes needed at the next level.
Displays the potential to start as either a tackle or guard in the NFL. Plays with natural bend in the knees, and flexibility. Possesses excellent agility. Can sit down into his blocks and anchor. Can block down yet spring back outside to cut off outside blitzers, also gets to second level quickly and shows good speed and hustle downfield. Very good at pulling, and is always attempting to drive his assignment to the ground. Maintains balance while extending his arms to keep outside rushers out of the pocket, does not give up after initial contact. Good recovery speed to cut off spin and inside counter moves. Goes out to meet his man and packs a punch to stop their momentum. Comes off the ball very well from a three-point stance in the run game.
Thomas tore his labrum in the Senior Bowl and didn't work out at the NFL Scouting Combine. When asked about his recovery time, Thomas replied (via Scout.com), "I think they said four to six months, and I probably have about another month in the brace."
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