Posted: 6:00 am Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Falcons’ draft board: Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

Player: De’Anthony Thomas

Position: Running back

School: Oregon

Height and weight: 5-9, 174 pounds

Combine numbers:  4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash (4.38 at campus workout); 8 reps on the 225-pound bench press; 32-inch vertical jump; 10-4 broad jump.

Projected Round: He’s the 17th running back in the draft and projected to be selected in the

Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas is one of the speedsters in the draft. (Steve Dykes / Associated Press)

Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas is one of the speedsters in the draft. (Steve Dykes / Associated Press)

sixth round by NFLDraftScout.com.

Career Highlights: He’s smallish speedster with a penchant for the big play. Last season, he played in 10 games and made five starts. He’s a dynamic multi-purpose threat. He was the Pac-12 co-offensive freshmen of the year in 2011 and was the only player in the nation with 400 yards rushing, receiving and on kick returns. A native of Los Angeles, who got his start playing in the Snoop Dogg Youth League.

Quotes: “I feel like I’m a playmaker and I just like to contribute. I feel like I’m a great team player and I just want to make plays for my team. …I can play receiver. I can play running back. Kick return. Punt return. I just want to contribute…When I first arrived at Oregon, (Chip Kelly) was a great coach to me and I learned a lot from him. Just to see him leave Oregon, it was really tough for me. I stayed strong and I finished my college career.”

Falcons level on interest: The Falcons are thin at running back after Jason Snelling’s retirement and the release of Bradie Ewing. Thomas has been compared to St. Louis Tavon Austin. While the lines are of major concern, the Falcons would like to come away from an offensive weapon or two. 

FALCONS’ DRAFT BOARD

–A look at Louisville LB Preston Brown

–A look at Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

–A look at Texas OLB/DE Jackson Jeffcoat

–A look at West Virginia RB Charles Sims

–A look at Auburn DE Dee Ford

–A look at Brigham Young OLB Kyle Van Noy

–A look at Arizona State OLB/DE Carl Bradford

--A look at Missouri DE Kony Ealy

–A look at Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro

–A look at Alabama S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix

–A look at Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman

–A look at Buffalo LB Khalil Mack

–BLOG: A list of the confirmed players at LOCALS DAY on Tuesday

–BLOG: FSU linebacker Telvin Smith visited the Falcons on Monday

–Falcons check out Towson State RB Terrance West, CB Jordan Love (UGA transfer)

–MyAJC ($): Eye-test vs. Tape-measure test: Falcons must trust their eyes during draft prep. 

FALCONS REWIND

–Blog: Falcons are not switching to a 3-4 defense front, they’ve been using it for past 2 seasons

–Blog: New jersey numbers picked; Devin Hester to wear No. 17

–Blog: Falcons awarded three compensatory picks

–Blog: Lamar Holmes was a performance-pay leader in 2014

–Blog: Umenyiora will return in 2014, no restructured deal

–Blog: Falcons release FB Bradie Ewing

–Blog: Falcons WR Roddy White owes Mercer fan some prime tickets

–Blog: Falcons owner Arthur Blank engaged to be married.  

–Blog: Former Falcons WR Kevin Cone to work out for Carolina

–Blog: Falcons re-sign defensive tackle Peria Jerry

–Blog: NFL to move forward on cleaning up ‘on-field’ language

MEET THE FREE AGENT SIGNEES

–MyAJC ($): Falcons spend $80 million in free agency to buy toughness

–Las Vegas doesn’t like Falcons’ free agency moves

–Falcons Free Agency Tracker — Falcons have committed $107.36 million to salaries 

–Q&A with PR/KR/WR Devin Hester

–Q&A with Falcons right guard Jon Asamoah

–Q&A with Falcons defensive end Tyson Jackson

–Q&A with Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai

2014 NFL DRAFT CENTRAL

–Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons trade out of sixth spot to land Pryor and Ebron

–12 teams who could draft UGA star Aaron Murray

–Louisville LB Preston Brown to work out for the Falcons

–Louisville DE Marcus Smith to work out for the Falcons

–MyAJC ($): OT Greg Robinson, DE Dee Ford shine at Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Tackle Greg Robinson on Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Running back Tra Mason on Auburn’s Pro Day

–Blog & VIDEO: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd has stellar Pro Day showing

–VIDEO: Clemson WR Sammy Watkins on his Pro Day

10 comments
Jack7
Jack7

We definitely need help at running back but there will be plenty late and after the draft. We need toughness on both sides of the ball. Its a shame that CMS and GMTD are just now realizing the type of players we need after being in the league as long as they have, doing what they do. Are you kidding me? And then to go get what some have called washed up players? Really? And the way they have drafted and pursued free agency leaves a lot to be desired. History shows to get the best player available and not to draft for position. Also don't draft for star/name status. Tough hard nosed players aren't always the ones that get the head lines in college, especially DL's that eat double teams so the LB's & DE's can make tackles for loses and DB's that make tackles to support the run D but don't get a lot of interceptions. But they are solid and make plays to get the other team's O off the field. Our linebackers make too many tackles 4, 6 and 8 yards down field. Our D is on the field too long trying to stop players bigger, stronger, tougher with smarter coaches. We messed up when in no time we let go of our best LB (Curtis Lofton), best DB ( Brent Grimes) and best DL (John Abraham). We should have built around them. And yes you have to pay for a championship. Quit trying to be cheap and pay for proven talent, toughness and know how. They paid for offensive name players but let the best OL players go. What good is it to have all that talent at skill spots on O if you are under pressure to score at least 35 points a game to win? Spend money on both sides of the ball and we'll have a chance to compete. Opposing OL's love to see the Falcons, or should I say Pigeons? So do their QB's. Five years in and they have built in the wrong direction and now have to start over because they let their good players go too soon being cheap. From 2nd round All American LB to undrafted free agent linebackers. From Pro Bowl DB to drafting too high for rookies to take his place. Instead of adding help for Abe you try to replace his consistency and leadership and bought in a poor replacement. And the mistakes on the OL have been well documented. Now they are starting over again, with most of the same people from last year. Please. 

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

You need somebody to replace Steven Jackson who's big strong and fast. GO Birds!

RandyFalcon
RandyFalcon

No way we draft this guy AND keep Rodgers. How many small players with just decent speed do we need?

slydawg
slydawg

I didn't know he was just 4'9 in height. Please, hire me as your new copywriter.


Anyway. He can't help this team now because the Falcons already signed two return men. I wish they went the younger route with this guy. He is simply explosive with football in his hands.

Eric1961
Eric1961

Speed kills. Like him in a darren sproles role. Hope he's there in the 5th round

Samurai-Squirrel
Samurai-Squirrel

I knew Bradie Ewing was a wasted pick the minute they drafted him. The fullback position should be filled with undrafted free agents or "too big" running backs. They are no longer necessary in today's NFL.

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

I really wish one player would be enough to turn things around. It may be 2 seasons before the Falcons make it to the big show. Alot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball. We need to draft/develop talent for the long term. We are back at square one. Falcons already have a scat back out of oregon.    GO FALCONS !!

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Toooooooo small.

Seastrunk or Sanky are better "small" RBs.