Dallas Thomas   OL   Tennessee 

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

 

STRENGTHS

Dallas has very good overall athletic talent.  He moves his feet very well and although he hadn't played the left guard position for his college team until this year, he did a solid job overall.  He shows excellent effort on every play and plays with great pride and mental toughness.  Dallas has the size and bulk to be an excellent interior offensive lineman at the next level.  He also will be able to play tackle in a pinch, which will improve his overall draft status with most teams. What I like about Dallas is his ability to move his feet in a small space.  He can be used in a pulling system, on screens and sweeps and his ability and effort to make blocks at the college level in spite of the fact that he never truly learned the correct guard techniques is impressive. Dallas will be a good interior offensive lineman at some point in the future for the team that drafts him because he has the athletic talent to play the guard position in any style of offensive line scheme. 

 

CONCERNS

There are a lot of technique issues that concern me about Dallas and the way he plays.  He is, techinique-wise, very poor in blocking for the run and controlling his pad level.  He struggles picking up his man and deciding who to block when he goes to the second level.  He gets too high when he is pass blocking, which makes it easy to bull rush him and get him off balance.  As a tackle, he doesn't have the true lateral agility to play left tackle, but should do a solid job as a right tackle in a pinch if he is covered up.  In his defense, Dallas does a better job blocking in all phases as the game goes on.  He adapts and corrects his mistakes from the 1st quarter to the 4th quarter, especially when run blocking.     

 

BOTTOM LINE

If I thought that work ethic was the main issue for Dallas not performing consistently or to his talent, I would say so.  I do not see on film a work ethic issue.  Moving Dallas from left tackle to left guard hurt him because, Dallas is playing the guard position with tackle techniques.  The strange thing is that moving Dallas inside to guard was also was the best thing that could have happened to him, because now he knows the work in front of him to become the left guard his talent suggest that he can be.  Right now, Dallas is a little confused and frustrated.  He is inconsistent when blocking for the run and moves up too high too quickly when pass blocking.  He needs more lower body strength and the hand fighting a guard does is a lot more intense than the hand fighting a tackle has to do and he needs to learn this.  I believe Dallas has the potential to be a pro bowl left guard and if I drafted him I would get him stronger in his lower body and teach him better techniques and let him play.  No moving him around when there are injuries -- just play him at left guard.  In spite of the fact that Dallas has a lot to learn technique-wise, I don't believe his LTI is that far out there because of his overall athleticism and mental toughness and pride.

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Jan/2013