Brian Thomas Jr.’s Draft Profile | LSU, WR Scouting Report

LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr. dominated in 2023, but does he have the 2024 NFL Draft scouting report to break into Round 1?

One of the most explosive risers of the 2023 college football season, where does LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. rank in the 2024 NFL Draft with his scouting report? Thomas came out of nowhere in 2023, but now he’s impossible to ignore as a clear-cut Round 1 candidate.

Brian Thomas Jr. Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 205 pounds
  • Position: WR
  • School: LSU
  • Current Year: Junior

Thomas was a consensus four-star recruit out of Walker High School in Walker, Louisiana. At his highest, he was viewed as a top-75 national talent, and he has offers from a host of schools, including blue-bloods like Alabama and Georgia.

Thomas played basketball before he played football and was a 1,000-point player for three consecutive seasons at Walker. He didn’t start playing football until his sophomore year, but by his junior season, he was racking up over 1,250 yards and 17 touchdowns.

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Despite offers elsewhere, Thomas chose to stay in-state and play for LSU. He made an immediate impact as a freshman, hauling in 28 passes for 359 yards. His sophomore season featured a stagnation of sorts, but Thomas erupted in a phenomenal junior campaign.

Aided by Jayden Daniels and Malik Nabers, Thomas ended up leading all FBS receivers with 17 receiving touchdowns and caught 68 passes for 1,177 yards, averaging over 17 yards per catch.

After the 2023 season, Thomas could call himself an All-American, an All-SEC player, and a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist — but he’s now vying for more distinguished titles. Soon, he’ll likely be a first-round 2024 NFL Draft pick, and it’s only up from there.

Thomas Jr.’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Streamlined WR with elite length and efficient mass and is a premier athlete at his size.
  • Stack specialist with superlative explosiveness and speed working the vertical plane.
  • Has the long speed to create and sustain vertical separation, generating big plays.
  • Energetic, flexible long-strider who can vaporize tackling angles with his acceleration.
  • Crisp foot speed and agility allows him to off-set DBs with split and foot-fire releases.
  • Has good zone awareness and can use bend to keep speed while splicing into lanes.
  • Has the fluidity to cut double-moves at incredibly acute angles, leaving DBs in the lurch.
  • Can be intentional with his body lean at stems and capitalize with sharp flexibility.
  • Has shown he can use his length to wall off DBs while tracking deep passes vertically.
  • Flashes elite focus, body control, and hand-eye coordination in contested situations.
  • Naturally tracks the ball over his shoulder and can guide passes in without much space.
  • Authoritatively attacks the ball in the air with his reach, winning routinely at the point.
  • Has the awareness to adapt and create second-wave separation on scramble drills.
  • Makes quick RAC transitions and can use tempo modulations to swim past defenders.
  • Can be schemed RAC opportunities with long-strider speed and has crafty fluidity.

Weaknesses

  • Has a relatively underdeveloped route tree past verticals, crossers, and drags.
  • Head fakes and stop-and-start moves aren’t always abrupt or deliberate enough to sell.
  • Can be a bit more consistent at fully pressing upfield into stems with his vertical speed.
  • Sometimes loses his balance when attempting to sink and hinge around on hitches.
  • Still learning how to stay controlled while channeling high-energy athleticism at stems.
  • Longer limbs make it harder to manage plant-and-drive footwork on sharp route breaks.
  • Still learning how to use targeted physicality in conjunction on releases and at stems.
  • At times, keeps hands too wide when attacking, which can source catch-point instability.
  • At times comes overtop and wrenches down high passes too much, increasing drop risk.
  • Has good RAC physicality but doesn’t have high-end play strength or contact balance.
  • Shows glimpses of great hustle and physicality as a blocker but can be more consistent.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Brian Thomas Jr. grades out as a top-20 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and a top-five prospect at his position. He’s worth early-to-mid first-round capital, and he has the upside to be an impact NFL starter with X-receiver and movement-Z versatility.

At 6’4″, 205 pounds, Thomas has all of the necessary physical tools in elite quantities. He’s an overbearing size threat with a massive catch radius, but he also carries his weight with effortless ease and has an exciting mix of explosiveness, speed, agility, and fluidity.

Thomas is still relatively raw as a WR, but his production in 2023 was extremely promising, and there are reassuring traits on tape. He’s a catch-point savant whose combined reach, body control, sense of timing, and proactivity can overwhelm defenders in the red zone and on the boundary, and his upside as a route runner is clear as day.

While Thomas has room to expand his route tree and can improve his plant-and-drive technique and execution of manipulation tactics, he’s an incredibly flexible mover at his size.

Thomas can sustain acceleration through angled cuts and explode into open zones, and he has the zone awareness to find space for his QB. And on slot fades, he can use his quickness and burst in conjunction to stack DBs like clockwork.

If that’s not enough, Thomas also has functional RAC utility with his speed, bend, and craftiness as a mover, and he can be schemed touches on drag and mesh routes, as well as WR screens and sweep motions.

KEEP READING: Top WRs in the 2024 NFL Draft

There is a bit of projection required with Thomas, but for a young player, the body of work is already incredibly promising. Right away in the NFL, Thomas has the profile to win as a vertical, red-zone, and RAC threat, and he has the upside to be a true WR1 and an impact player.

All the 2024 NFL Draft resources you need — the draft order, the top QBs, the Top 100 prospects, and the full 2024 Big Board — right at your fingertips at Pro Football Network!

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