Draft Prospect Outlook:
Tall, high-cut linebacker prospect who'll make his money against the run due to his quick key-reading and springiness to the football. Occasionally has the speed to meet running backs before they turn the corner. Mostly a physical battler inside.
The Miami native had a turbulent career, filled with dramatic highs and lows. Thomas never quite lived up to his lofty billing as a five-star prospect according to the 247Sports Composite, although he completed his career with two strong seasons as a starter. A shoulder injury ended Thomas’ freshman campaign in 2013 after three games, and he missed the first six games of his sophomore campaign while serving a suspension. Thomas then missed all of the 2015 season with another suspension before settling in as a full-time starter in 2016. The rangy, athletic linebacker led FSU with 77 tackles in 2016 and had some brilliant performances (like when he posted 15 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss against Michigan in the Capital One Orange Bowl). He also dealt with admitted confidence issues and was prone to losing interest or focus in key moments.
Thomas opted to return for his senior season with hopes of showing off more versatility and consistency to bolster his draft stock. He was a disruptive blitzer and graceful player in pass coverage, making him a versatile weapon for defending spread offenses. Thomas was far more consistent this season, totaling a team-high 85 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss. He had at least a tackle for loss in each of his final four games before skipping FSU’s bowl game to get a jump-start on training for the NFL. -- Brendan Sonnone