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Doug Pederson shares early impressions, plan for Jaguars’ Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas Jr. has been through only three organized workouts with the Jaguars, two rookie minicamp practices and Jacksonville’s first offseason training activity (OTA) on Monday, but things appear to be trending in the right direction for the Jaguars’ first-round wide receiver already.

Before Thomas took the field with veterans for the first time, head coach Doug Pederson shared his impressions of the Jaguars’ No. 23 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft from his first few weeks around the team, recounting what he had displayed in the classroom and briefly on the gridiron since rookie minicamp began.

“He looked good. Really a smart guy, the things that we’ve introduced to him well he’s picked up well,” Pederson described Thomas. “He’s been able to retain it, recall it and it looks smooth on the field.”

Indeed, Thomas stood out in front of reporters at the Miller Electric Center on Monday, displaying good athleticism and strong hands while running routes on air and in one-on-ones against defensive backs.

There remains plenty of work for Thomas to do, of course. To start, the extent to which he’s practiced in equipment with the Jaguars was when he wore a helmet on Monday. The rest will be put on in training camp, over two months from now.

Pederson noted that Thomas is set to be instructed about schematics and coverages NFL defenses deploy that he might not have witnessed or been able to appreciate at the college level, emphasizing the importance of OTAs relative to players absorbing pro concepts.

“We’re still teaching, learning and developing,” Pederson said broadly before addressing Thomas’ specific development track.

“We’re going to continue to work and there’s some things we’ve got to work with that he didn’t see in college defensively, that he’s going to see here in the NFL. So we’ll continue to work with him on that.”

Another important aspect of Thomas’ offseason work will be developing chemistry with his quarterback, Trevor Lawrence. The same idea applies to fellow recent additions to Jacksonville’s wide receiver room, veterans Devin Duvernay and Gabe Davis.

Like Thomas, Davis had been unable to work in an organized fashion with Lawrence since his March signing with the team, as he continues to recover from a knee sprain suffered at the end of the 2023 season with Buffalo. Davis was also absent Monday following the birth of his child over the weekend.

“Again, just the amount of time he and Trevor have [been] throwing. I think Gabe is in that same boat,” Pederson said. “They’ve all got to get on the same page.”

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire