The Cleveland Browns signed local product Adonis Thomas, a running back out of Toledo who has big play ability but is very undersized. The draft is one of my favorite things to talk about, and I was surprised to see Thomas didn’t add much weight over the offseason in his preparations for the NFL.
What Thomas lacks in size (5’9" 185 pounds) he makes up for with freakish athletic ability. He runs a 4.45 second 40 yard dash, and has a 38-inch vertical leap to go along with throwing up 19 bench press reps of 225 pounds. For a man of that size, that’s impressive.
During last season, I did a scouting report on Thomas, who was one of the more exciting and productive playmakers I watched in college football last year.
Small back with speed to burn who can make plays and hurt you in so many different ways. Averaging over six yards per carry both of the last two seasons, and has a career high 11 touchdown runs in 2011. Has received very limited carries in college, so his wear-and-tear should not be too bad heading into the pros, but his size does pose cause for some concern because he is not a thick back. He could probably add 10-15 pounds of muscle and maintain his speed. Good receiver out of the backfield with 59 catches over the last two seasons, along with three touchdowns. With the way defenses are being built to stop the pass first, he might be able to get away with playing at this size for a year, maybe two in the NFL. One of the best playmakers in the country when he has the ball in his hands.
Overall, I think Thomas is a great guy to have at least for a camp body. He may be too small to make it in the NFL initially, but you stash a guy like this on the practice squad for a year and develop him physically, and he can become a huge steal as a second year player.
Perhaps he could even contribute as a gunner on special teams or as a punt/kick returner as well. There are a lot of options for a guy who makes plays like Thomas, so I like this pickup for the Browns a lot.