Drafted: ROUND: 7 - Pick Number: 223 (CLE)
Draft Profile: BioIsaiah Thomas was a four-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals and was given an honorable mention all-state by The Oklahoman. He was also a member of Tulsa Memorial’s 2017 Class 5A state championship-winning basketball team. After high school, he chose Oklahoma over Alabama, Oklahoma State, and Tennessee.
After redshirting the 2017 season Thomas played sparingly the following two years and was finally given a chance to showcase his talents in 2020. He started all 11 games and played at both defensive end and defensive tackle and finished the season with 32 tackles (20 solo, 12 assists) with team-highs of 8.5 sacks (for 60 yards),13.0 tackles for loss (totaling 74 yards), and was credited with two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, eight QB hurries and two pass breakups. At season's end, he received a second-team All-Big 12 selection by league coaches and the media.
In 2021 as a senior he saw action in 12 games starting 11, Thomas totaled 38 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, team-high 8.0 sacks, four pass breakups, three QB hurries, three forced fumbles, and an impressive 34 total QB pressures on the year. Thomas was awarded with an All-Big 12 Second Team selection by league coaches at end of the season.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Vision to locate the ball and recognize cut blocks. Can rip past blockers and pull down ball carriers when he cannot fully disengage from linemen.
- Thomas displays the upper body strength to power through blockers and has an excellent long-arm bull rush
- Good overall football IQ - shows good position awareness in run defense
- Displays very good lateral quickness - can mirror ball carriers sideline to sideline
- Showcases an impressive stunt and twist to create a pass rush
- Has very fast and powerful hands that allow him to disengage from blockers and keep them away from his pads
- His length, effort, and short-area quickness still pressure double teams and help penetrate gaps.
- Aggressive with good awareness to track the ball and attack. Tenacious, tough, competitive, and versatile.
- Sacks and pressures are a product of hustle. Gives effort on every play. Holds the point with length and a strong upper body.
- Relentless and strong off the edge as a pass rusher when fresh. Gets under the pads of tackles to bull rush them into the backfield.
- He's not an elite pass rusher and projects as a left end in a 4-3 defense. If he layers on more muscle, he might fit in the 3-4. Size, strength, and versatility should push him into the top 75 picks.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Stands up well against the run but is very pursuit-conscious and will take unneeded wide angles
- Has the versatility to play all along the defensive line despite his size limitations
- Has limited overall athletic ability and average strength and often fails to display blockers at the point of attack
- Is not explosive off the snap and needs to develop a better snap recognition
- Was arrested for petty larceny and a DWI - which at the very least shows some immaturity issues which must be taken into account
- Never out of a play, but can get out of control and work himself away from the action.
- He doesn't have the elite quickness or flexibility to flatten off the edge against NFL blockers and might have to add bulk to be a 3-4 defense five-technique, or strong-side end in a 4-3.
- Plays tall and gets upright off the snap. Needs to focus on leverage due to only average lower body strength
Scouting Report: SummaryIsaiah Thomas is a solid player without any elite traits - he has decent although not special athletic ability, some good pass rush moves but only average strength at the POA and is good in pursuit in run defense. He however has had off-field issues which may make some teams remove him from their draft boards altogether.
It's unlikely that Thomas will be picked any higher than the fifth round and more than likely he'll end up being picked in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
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