NFL draft: Highly rated OL Brandon Thomas tears ACL in workout with Saints

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31: Brandon Thomas #63 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after their 25-24 win over the LSU Tigers during the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Clemson offensive lineman Brandon Thomas, whose draft stock grew when he held South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney in check one-on-one last season, has suffered a torn ACL in a pre-draft workout.

The workout occured with the New Orleans Saints, ESPN's Mike Triplett is reporting.

Thomas was a prospect on the rise who might have slipped into the top 50 picks before the injury, but not now. The torn ACL almost certainly will drop Thomas a few rounds and make him a PUP list (physically unable to perform) candidate for whatever team ends up drafting him.

But Thomas will be picked. His strong senior season, positional flexibility, the Clowney performance and a strong Senior Bowl all bode well for his football future once his knee recovers.

There are a number of teams that have the combination of good depth and additional draft picks — such as the San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots, all of whom have made "redshirt" draft picks on injured players recently — that might find Thomas a good home.

But the Saints, who were working Thomas out, should consider taking him. After all, they have no responsibility to say much more than "sorry, bro" but it would be a nice makeup call if it could happen.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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