Former Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas impressed scouts with his athletic ability at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he focused on demonstrating his strengths as a passer at the school’s pro day.
Thomas’ stellar performance in the combine started to boost his draft stock after a rocky regular season, but questions remained about how his athleticism translated into his skills as a quarterback.
With the help of quarterback guru George Whitfield, Thomas set out to answer some of those questions with a rigorous throwing program at Tech’s pro day.
Thomas threw nearly 60 passes, and by all accounts left a positive impression on the scouts and coaches in attendance.
Since the event wasn’t open to the media, it’s impossible to know exactly how Thomas looked in the workout, yet it does seem as if his pro day went exactly how he would’ve liked, with some big names on hand to see it all unfold.
After finishing in first place among quarterbacks in five different combine drills, Thomas needed to show he was more than just a strong athlete at his pro day.
While the drills are nice, Thomas focused solely on throwing for the workout, as the Roanoke Times’ Andy Bitter noted:
Logan Thomas didn't do any of the running, jumping drills he did at the NFL Combine. He did throw for a long period of time, though. #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) March 19, 2014
Accordingly, Whitfield put Thomas through his paces, and the quarterback responded by completing 56 of 59 passes on the day.
Thomas did so while throwing to former Hokie receiver D.J. Coles, so he had some familiarity with his targets, but he also spent time working with Liberty receiver Pat Kelly and William & Mary tight end Robert Asmar to show that he could work with more unfamiliar players as well.
After spending most of his career working out of the shotgun—and struggling with his mechanics under center during the Senior Bowl—Thomas also set out to show he was comfortable with a more pro-style offense by working with former Virginia Tech offensive lineman Andrew Miller, as Bitter noted:
Whitfield said everything Logan Thomas did today was under center, on purpose. Andrew Miller handled snapping duties. #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) March 19, 2014
Overall, it seems like he left a decent impression on scouts.
In fact, according to Bitter, many scouts started comparing him to another NFL player who's experienced some success:
Whitfield gets lots of feedback from NFL scouts. Said a lot of them compare Logan Thomas' VT career to Jay Cutler's at Vanderbilt. #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) March 19, 2014
While some draft observers like Mel Kiper Jr. still believe Thomas could end up changing positions, it seems as if scouts are convinced he can stick at quarterback. Whitfield certainly was enthusiastic about Thomas’ prospects at quarterback.
“The same questions people had about Cam Newton,” he told Bitter. “I guess if people aren’t progressing as fast as they want you to, they want to try to look at you in another opportunity. But he will be playing quarterback for the next decade-plus.”
Thomas had the benefit of putting on this strong performance in front of a high-profile audience.
While scouts and coaches from each of the league’s 32 teams were in attendance, some stood out a little more than others.
The Philadelphia Eagles had a particularly strong presence, as Tech tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Bryan Stinespring observed:
Coach Beamer,Eagles HC Chip Kelly and OC Pat Shurmur at Vt Pro Day#Hokies pic.twitter.com/FYdPkKyMqP— Coach Stiney (@BryanStiney) March 19, 2014
But Chip Kelly wasn’t the only prominent head coach in the building to watch Thomas.
Stinespring also picked San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh out of the crowd:
Coach Jim Harbaugh taking in our Pro Day! pic.twitter.com/6cswhuTFRE— Coach Stiney (@BryanStiney) March 19, 2014
While Harbaugh could be interested in some of the Hokies’ other prominent prospects, David Fucillo of Niners Nation speculates that it’s Thomas whom he wanted to see in person.
Kyle Fuller is the consensus top Hokies prospect, and has been mentioned as a potential 49ers target late in the first round, or potentially high in the second round. Harbaugh might be checking him out, but my guess is maybe he is actually checking out Logan Thomas. Trent Baalke has said Harbaugh has potentially more sway when it comes to the quarterback position.
The 49ers acquired Blaine Gabbert to join Colin Kaepernick and McLeod Bethel-Thompson. The team will add one more quarterback, whether it be through the draft or undrafted free agency. Gabbert seems likely to open the season as Kap's primary backup, but he and McBLT will not be the only ones competing behind Kap come August.
Harbaugh certainly isn’t afraid of taking a chance on an athletic, yet unrefined quarterback given the success he’s had with Kaepernick, but it’s hard to rule out the Eagles being interested, either.
Nick Foles is entrenched as the starter in Philadelphia, but with Michael Vick likely departing in free agency and third-stringer Matt Barkley failing to impress last year, they too could be looking for help at backup quarterback.
Given Thomas’ experience running option and inverted-veer plays under Scot Loeffler last season, the former Hokie could be a decent fit with Kelly. He certainly has the big arm that could help him get the ball down field to DeSean Jackson and company as well.
Even New York Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was present, and considering that they’re courting Vick, it shouldn’t come as a shock that a late-round quarterback like Thomas is on the radar as well.
However, for as good as Thomas looked at his pro day, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a reason scouts knocked him down to the third day of the draft immediately after the season.
For all of his impressive measurables and drills, it’s impossible to discount the inconsistency and accuracy issues he displayed these past two seasons.
His 53 total passing touchdowns certainly do look good, but his career completion percentage of 55.5 should tamper the high expectations that are building.
But for now, Thomas’ stock seems ascendant as he gets increasingly positive attention from teams like the Eagles and Niners.