De'Anthony Thomas NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Chiefs RB

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De'Anthony Thomas NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Chiefs RB
Steve Dykes/Associated Press

De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon (HT: 5’8⅝", WT: 174 lbs)

Kansas City Chiefs 

Fourth Round: 124th Pick 

NFL Comparison: Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles 

Combine Weigh-in
Height Weight Arm Hand
5085 174 29 7/8" 8 1/8"

Combine Workout
40-yd dash 10-yd split Vert Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
4.50 1.58 32" 10'4" DNP DNP


  • Great burst; he explodes around the corner or through the hole demonstrating excellent acceleration.
  • Despite a disappointing 4.50 at the NFL Scouting Combine, he possesses track speed and is a threat to take it the distance at any time.
  • Very quick, has excellent lateral agility and is able to cut on a dime.
  • Elusive in the open field, shows the ability to make defenders miss on in space and can make himself skinny in the hole.
  • Versatile playmaker that can run, catch and return.
  • A good enough receiver that he may have the potential to develop into a full-time option in the slot.
  • Catches the ball cleanly away from his body, plucking it easily outside his frame.
  • Dangerous after the catch with a combination of speed, agility and elusiveness that allows him to squeeze extra yardage out of any given play.
  • Runs decent routes both out of the backfield and in the slot.
  • Has nimble feet and can tip-toe on the sideline, staying inbounds.
  • Demonstrates vision to identify cutback lanes and find daylight.
  • Was often utilized in motion at Oregon; he can be moved around the formation to identify coverage and create mismatches.
  • Compact build makes it possible to lose sight of him in traffic.
  • Explosive kick and punt returner; he returned four kicks for touchdowns at Oregon and averaged 17.1 yards per punt return.


  • Very small with a slight build. Stands only 5’8.625” and is at least 20 pounds too light for an NFL running back, having weighed in at only 174 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine.
  • Lack of mass makes it difficult to withstand punishment, especially between the tackles. His momentum can be stopped or redirected, and he often goes down on first contact.
  • Not a powerful or bruising runner that will break many tackles; he cannot run through defenders and is not effective inside.
  • Tends to be hesitant when his lanes are congested, running tentatively and occasionally dancing behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Does not churn his legs once he has been hit and does not generate much yardage after contact.
  • May not be seen by many teams as capable of contributing at running back; he could be more of a gadget player to some.
  • Not good in short-yardage situations due to lack of size and power and cannot push the pile forward.
  • A very limited blocker due to his size; he can be overwhelmed in pass protection
  • Has extremely small hands, measuring only 8.125".
  • Long-term durability could be a concern. He missed four games in 2013 due to an ankle injury and never looked the same after returning.


Rushing Statistics
Year Team Car Yds Avg TD
2011 Oregon 55 595 10.8 7
2012 Oregon 92 701 7.6 11
2013 Oregon 96 594 6.2 8

Receiving Statistics
Year Team Rec Yds Avg TD
2011 Oregon 46 605 13.2 9
2012 Oregon 45 445 9.9 5
2013 Oregon 22 246 11.2 1


Personal Notes

  • Honorable mention All-Pac-12 2012.
  • First-team All-Pac-12 kick returner 2011.
  • Pac-12 co-Offensive Freshman of the Year 2011.
  • Averaged 25.8 yards per kick return in college, returning four for touchdowns.
  • His nickname is the "Black Mamba."
  • Family and human services major.


Ratings Chart



Among college football’s most dynamic players, De’Anthony Thomas made the decision to forgo his senior season to enter the NFL draft. A versatile and electric playmaker capable of catching the ball and returning kicks or punts, he could have immediate value to a team. One concern, however, is that he is too small to play the role he did at Oregon and is simply a gadget player without a true NFL position. Still, he possesses a skill set that, if used correctly, could allow him to become one of the league’s more exciting weapons.


Draft Projection: 4th-5th Round

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