Rick Scuteri/Associated Press
De'Anthony Thomas is one of college football's fastest players, but his draft stock has struggled.
Fourth round, No. 124 overall to Kansas City Chiefs.
A very fast player who has excellent acceleration, vision and cutback ability. Quick to get through a hole once it develops and is a game-changer as a kick returner with take-it-to-the-house ability. He is very small for an NFL tailback, which raises concerns about his durability and ability to be an every-down tailback. Could fit in as a third-down tailback or slot receiver with great speed.
The Chiefs just lost tailback/receiver Dexter McCluster, so Thomas is a perfect fit in their offense as a “slash” back who can do a little bit of everything. Jamaal Charles will be the top tailback, but Thomas should see his share of touches in a lot of different ways as a backup beside Knile Davis.
For Oregon, the question is not replacing Thomas’ production as a tailback. Bryon Marshall rushed for 1,038 yards last season and Thomas Tyner rushed for 711. But finding someone who was as dangerous as Thomas as a receiver? That’s an issue.
Thomas averaged 11.2 yards per reception and his 22 grabs ranked fourth on Oregon’s roster. Marshall and Thomas are shifty and dangerous in space but must improve as receivers.
In spring, seniors Kenny Bassett and Ayele Forde worked best as running back/receivers. They could see bigger opportunities there this fall.
"Because of his speed and playmaking ability, in today's NFL, he's more valuable than he would have been six, eight, 10 years ago," Mayock said. "He probably goes in the fourth-round area. (You) got to have a plan in place for how you use him. He's a kickoff guy, plus we got to get him 10 touches a game. How do we manufacture those eight to 10 touches a game so he can make those plays for us that he did at Oregon?" – Mike Mayock, NFL Network.