In Round four of the 2014 draft, John Dorsey and the Kansas City Chiefs finally stopped tyrannizing fans and drafted a wide receiver. And a running back. And a punt returner.
Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas is a breathing lightning bolt. He owns first-class speed that makes pursuers look like quicksand victims, using patience and vision as a springboard to unleash it.
In all likelihood, the around-the-clock playmaker will succeed Dexter McCluster, doubling as the Chiefs' slot receiver and punt returner, while motioning to the backfield and cradling the infrequent handoff from time to time.
Obviously, he doesn't come packaged without flaws.
For starters, he tends to round off routes, and while he looks the part of a natural pass-catcher—regularly securing spirals and turning upfield in one fluid motion—he, at times, hears footsteps behind him when crossing the middle of the field.
Juxtaposing the deals of McCluster and his successor, contract aficionado Brian McIntyre notes:
Dexter McCluster got $4.5M gtd in free agency. His replacement in KC is De’Anthony Thomas, who’ll get $420k in gtd money on 4-yr, $2.6M deal— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) May 10, 2014
Maybe Dorsey knows what he's doing after all, eh?
A deluxe, specialty back and potential slot receiver with game-breaking return ability, Thomas can be an explosive mismatch weapon in multiple facets of the game. Diminutive stature will decrease the odds he'll be able to stay healthy in the pros, and his commitment to the game will dictate his future success. Rare speed creates a higher commodity on Draft Day.
At 5'9", 174 pounds, his frame will always trigger durability concerns. However, he stands at the same height and nine pounds heavier than his predecessor.
Thomas supplies one thing that McCluster didn't: a vertical threat.
No. 22 is incredibly shifty, but his straight-line speed is nothing to write home about. Though the lion's share of Thomas' receptions (at Oregon) came in the form of screens and short to intermediate routes, he flaunts a brand of speed that has to be respected by safeties.
Fans have been pleading for a home run hitter since the second the draft aired, and Dorsey threw a few curveballs throughout Day 1 and 2.
In snagging Thomas on Day 3, Dorsey appears to be the one who went yard.
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