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2024 NFL Draft: Brian Thomas Jr. scouting report

The other piece of college football’s most explosive playmaking duo, LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. will look to establish himself as a No. 1 receiver as he enters the 2024 NFL Draft.

Here is everything you need to know about the Tigers’ athletic marvel:

Vitals

Brian Thomas Jr (11) pick six and scores a touchdown as the <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/ncaaf/teams/lsu/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:LSU Tigers;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">LSU Tigers</a> take on the the Army Black Knights in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October. 21, 2023.

Height: 6-4

Weight: 205

Class: Junior

Strengths

17. <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/jacksonville/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Jacksonville Jaguars;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Jacksonville Jaguars</a> – Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
17. Jacksonville Jaguars – Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

A receiver who looks the part standing at 6-4 and proving to be one of the most dominant downfield threats in all of college football last season with the LSU Tigers, Brian Thomas Jr.’s skills translate to the NFL in a big way.

Using his frame and speed to his advantage, Thomas put on a clinic last year in the LSU vertical passing game. With the ability to stun defenders with his acceleration off the line, corners struggled to turn their hips and keep up with Thomas, let alone be able to out position him for the football.

Thomas uses his size to great effect with the ball in the air, creating a wide passing window for quarterbacks to put the ball. Thomas length and speed make it seem easy for him to track the football down the field and make smaller defenders look silly in contested catch situations. Despite Thomas being on the bigger side, he is still quite fluid and is able to move fluidly and burst in and out of his routes with ease, making him an excellent threat in any spot on the field.

Behind the arm of quarterback Jayden Daniels, Thomas experienced career highs in every aspect of his game. With 68 catches, 1,177 yards, and 17 touchdowns, Thomas was the primary down-the-field attacker for the LSU offense.

Weaknesses

Jan 1, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers cornerback Nyzier Fourqurean (10) breaks up a pass to LSU Tigers wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11) during the second half at the Reliaquest Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2024; Tampa, FL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers cornerback Nyzier Fourqurean (10) breaks up a pass to LSU Tigers wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11) during the second half at the Reliaquest Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Though he is a bigger wide receiver Thomas does at times struggle with more physical corners who get their hands on him early. There are moments on tape where he is taken out of plays if corners bully him to the sideline and jam him up to mitigate his speed advantage.

While Thomas is excellent at tracking the ball down the field, he is not a world-beater in contested catches. Bigger defensive backs can out-muscle and out-position him for the football.

Projection

Brian Thomas Jr (11) pick six and scores a touchdown as the LSU Tigers take on the the Army Black Knights in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October. 21, 2023.
Brian Thomas Jr (11) pick six and scores a touchdown as the LSU Tigers take on the the Army Black Knights in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October. 21, 2023.

Every NFL team is looking for their own version of a tall, down-the-field, deep threat. Thomas fits the mold of what teams want, though his physicality at the top and bottom of the route leaves something to be desired. Thomas is going to walk into the NFL on day one as a starting receiver and force teams to pay attention to his deep speed and ability to take the top off their defense. Should Thomas add some muscle to his frame and become a more physical player, he could become a top receiver in the league.

Projection: First-round pick 

Story originally appeared on Draft Wire