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The draft analyst says he thinks the quarterback is a probable Day 2 selection.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas rushed for 101 yards in the Hokies’ loss to Duke.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas has always elicited very strong, very mixed opinions from Hokies fans.
It appears NFL scouts are in the same category.
A few days after Thomas’ four-interception day in a demoralizing 13-10 loss to Duke, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay weighed in on the 6-foot-6, 250-pound quarterback’s pro prospects on a teleconference.
The verdict? As you’d expect of the most-scrutinized player in recent memory at Virginia Tech, no one quite agrees.
“I’ve talked to two scouts who still think that he belongs in the first two rounds of the draft,” McShay said. “And I’ve talked to other scouts that have late-round grades on him. And there are a bunch of guys in between.
“His potential is outstanding, but it will be interesting to see where a team is willing to gamble, if you will, on that potential. You don’t find many guys with that blend of height, weight, speed, athleticism and competitiveness. He has great intangibles.”
Once hyped as a potential No. 1 overall pick following his breakout 2011 season, Thomas’ stock dropped precipitously during an uneven 2012 campaign during which McShay famously called out the Hokies’ offense as being “out dated by 10 to 15 years.”
Thomas’ numbers don’t look a whole lot better this season — he’s completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 1,665 passing yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions — but McShay said he’s seen the quarterback progress from a mechanical standpoint under new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler.
“I think Scot has come in and done a really nice job of simplifying things, showing him what he needs to do mechanically, working on those things and making that the focus,” McShay said. “Not trying to do too much or ask too much of him. And it seems to be working.”
The Duke game underscored that Thomas remains a work in progress, however. Although he accounted for 315 yards, including a season-high 101 on the ground, his second career 100-yard rushing effort, the senior was just 21-for-38 passing, with four crippling interceptions that derailed any comeback hopes.
“I think I obviously could have made a lot better choices, a lot better plays,” Thomas said. “I think I played well for about 75 percent of my snaps, which obviously isn’t very good.”
He took a step back with his mechanics, especially with his progressions, something that served him so well during a three-game interception-free streak to start ACC play.
“It wasn’t that I was skipping them or not doing them,” Thomas said. “It’s just that I was going through them too fast. My footwork and my brain really weren’t jelled together, which means I was looking at two when my feet were still ready for one. So that’s what kind of got me off my game.”
Head coach Frank Beamer recognized his star quarterback’s struggles but didn’t waver in backing him.
“I think when you go out there and compete, some days are better than others,” Beamer said. “But I’ve got all the confidence in the world in Logan Thomas, and he’s a guy that’s very much the leader of this football team.”
McShay tried to take everything into account in his evaluation. He noted that Thomas’ supporting cast’s struggles are “very obvious when you study the tape.”
“As most quarterbacks do, he’s taking on a lot of water because of everything going on around him,” McShay said.
But that didn’t mask the potential that scouts have talked about Thomas having for years. The key, McShay said, is finding an NFL team that will be patient with him.
“It’s just a question of a team being in a position to draft him and develop him and not being in a rush to get him on the field,” McShay said. “And I think probably when it’s all said and done, it wouldn’t surprise at all if he’s still somewhere in that Day 2 range.”
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