Thomas ready to compete for Browns roster spot?
Darron Thomas surprised many fans and analysts alike when he made the decision to forgo his senior season at the University of Oregon.
The former Oregon quarterback doesn’t fit the mold of a prototypical NFL quarterback, and while his athleticism could propel him to some form of success at the next level, his style of play may be best suited for an NFL practice squad this upcoming season.
5) NFL Defense
At the collegiate level, Thomas and the Oregon Ducks were able to wear down opponents by testing their conditioning, then attacking in the fourth quarter.
NFL defenses are faster, stronger and better conditioned, meaning that Thomas isn’t likely to have the same late-game advantages he had at the University of Oregon.
At 6’3”, Thomas certainly has the height to be an NFL quarterback. His 215-pound frame, however, is going to need to bulk up at the professional level.
Thomas showed on occasions with the Ducks that he can launch the ball deep, but in an Oregon offense that ran so many bubble routes and screen plays, the question has to be asked whether or not he can throw down field on a regular basis.
3) Quarterback Competition
The Cleveland Browns have loved quarterback competitions for quite some time now, and this year should prove to be no exception.
With recently drafted Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy and Seneca Wallace all expected to compete for the position, Thomas will have a hard time creating space for himself within the quarterback rotation next season.
2) Inflated Stats
Thomas finished the 2011 season with a record-setting 33 touchdowns and leaves the University of Oregon with 66 touchdowns through the air and only 17 interceptions during his two years as a starter.
Running the fastest pace in all of college football, though, creates more possessions, and it can be argued that his fantastic stat line was a major product of Chip Kelly’s hurry-up offensive scheme.
1) Chip Kelly’s System
Kelly’s system may have helped inflate Thomas’ numbers, but one thing it didn’t do is prepare the 21-year-old for the pro-style offenses of the NFL.
Created around the zone-read and a solid running game, Kelly’s offense utilized the depth at running back to deceive opponents, often times leaving Thomas and his receivers completely unaccounted for.
The Oregon Ducks run one of the most unique offensive systems in football today, and while it’s proven to have incredible success in the NCAA, it doesn’t appear to translate well at the professional level.