Joe Thomas   LT   Wisconsin

STRENGTHS 

Joe has excellent size and athletic abilities for his position.  He has those nice long arms to go along with very quick feet.  He takes his responsibility of protecting the blind side of his QB very seriously.  Joe shows excellent techniques when pass blocking.  In fact, he shows technical skills and smarts well beyond the normal college LT when it comes to pass blocking.  He's done a good job recovering from a knee operation and seems to be moving better and better every time I see him play.   Joe is the best pure pass blocking LT that I have seen come out of college in the last five years.

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Joe Thomas is not a very good run blocker.  He does not fire out of his stance and this causes him to lose leverage.  He does not stay with his blocks.  He is not very aggressive at all when it comes to run blocking.   He seems not to be interested in that part of the game. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 1

I donít know why Joe is not interested in run blocking, but I can tell you this -- he certainly has the talent to do it.  The fact is that Joe is an excellent pass blocking blind side LT.  Isnít that what it's all about?  Jonathan Ogden (LT - Baltimore Ravens) has made a pretty good living at being a better pass blocker than a run blocker.  In fact, Joe reminds me a lot of Jonathan Ogden.  If Joe gets just a little more of a mean streak in him when he plays, he just might develop into a complete LT; however, right now Joe is a franchise LT.  He is a Left Tackle that you build your offensive line around because of his pass blocking skills.  Letís be real!  Who in their right mind is going to want a Left Tackle that is a better-run blocker than he is a pass blocker?  Most of the time, the great run blocking college LTís are shifted to the right side or into guard - but you never see a good pass blocking college LT shifted to another position at the NFL level.  Thatís because they are too hard to find.  That being said, you also have to list Joe as a possible top ten pick in this draft.   Of course, this is before the juniors declare and believe me when I say it Ė the LT from USC has a better all around game than Joe has and personally, I would rate him ahead of Joe.   But thatís just crazy THR profile guy - the only guy out here that actually looks at films to profile players.  What do I know?  

Drew Boylhart

November/2006