Brian Thomas Jr.’s Dynasty Rookie Profile | Jacksonville Jaguars WR Fantasy Football Outlook

After becoming the fourth WR off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft, what can dynasty managers expect from Brian Thomas Jr. in his rookie year with the Jaguars?

After months of vastly different opinions on who the fourth wide receiver selected in the 2024 NFL Draft would be, Brian Thomas Jr. ultimately landed in a great spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars trading back and landing the talented LSU prospect at No. 23 overall.

How should dynasty fantasy football managers value Thomas heading into 2024 rookie drafts?

Should You Draft Brian Thomas Jr. in Dynasty Fantasy Football?

From a bird’s-eye view, Thomas doesn’t exactly have the best resume of collegiate production in direct comparison to his fellow prospects at the position in this draft class. He had one year of outstanding production in college, but it does raise questions as to why a player with his physical set of tolls didn’t dominate until his final year at LSU.

He has exceptional size (6’3”, 209 pounds), elite speed (4.33-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine), and explosive athleticism (38.5” vertical jump) that project him as a potentially dominant force as an outside receiver. Yet, questions remain about his lack of overall production in college.

Now, he joins forces with quarterback Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville, who has flashed some of the superstar potential many projected for him entering the NFL but still hasn’t quite arrived as an elite quarterback in the league through his first three years under center.

The reason for that may be his lack of an elite vertical weapon on the outside. Sure, Calvin Ridley had a nice season in 2023, especially when you consider he didn’t play professional football for more than an entire calendar year. But most would likely agree Ridley was a bit underwhelming with 76 receptions for 1,016 yards and eight TDs over his 136 targets last year.

MORE: Updated Dynasty WR Rankings

Ridley is now a member of the Tennessee Titans, which means Thomas’ competition for targets in 2024 is Christian Kirk, Evan Engram, Gabe Davis, and Zay Jones. No disrespect to the players just mentioned, but Thomas has the highest ceiling and most physical ability of all the players just mentioned.

The argument could be made that Thomas may be able to unlock Lawrence’s true potential because of his exceptional ability to win down the field as a vertical threat.

The route tree Thomas ran at LSU wasn’t incredibly diverse, but some of that may have to do with how the Tigers were choosing to utilize him next to Malik Nabers.

Ultimately, his prototypical build for an outside receiver and ideal landing spot certainly puts him in the range of a late first-round pick when rookie drafts start later this year.

Who Is Thomas?

Background

Thomas was a two-sport star at Walker High School in Louisiana, excelling on both the gridiron and hardwood during his prep days.

The dynamic athlete was touted as a four-star prospect by multiple recruiting databases, in large part due to his exceptional production during a junior year when he compiled 75 receptions for 1,272 yards and 17 touchdowns.

College Production

Thomas’ collegiate career at LSU got off to a bit of a slow start with a combined 59 receptions, 720 receiving yards, and seven scores through his freshman and sophomore campaigns.

MORE: Fantasy News Tracker

After modest production through his first two seasons, Thomas exploded with 68 receptions for 1,177 yards and 17 touchdowns in his junior year. His significant jump in production helped QB Jayden Daniels win the 2023 Heisman Trophy.

Injury History

Thomas suffered a concussion during his sophomore season, which caused him to be unavailable against the Arkansas Razorbacks in 2022.

Thomas’ Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Excellent release package against press coverage; foot quickness and lateral agility are impressive for a player his size; speed and single/double moves against press; makes himself a smaller target by dropping his shoulder to avoid DBs first jab.
  • Plus-level acceleration which helps him stack DBs on vertical routes after winning at the line of scrimmage (LOS); acceleration also helps create separation consistently when attacking a defender’s leverage before bursting out of a break.
  • Very fluid athlete with pliable hips for a prospect his size.
  • Above-average body control allows for ball-tracking adjustments on the fly; wide catch radius with height and lengthy frame.
  • Explosiveness, twitch, and suddenness all translate when he has the ball in his hands; plus-level yards after the catch producer with a natural feel as a ball carrier.
  • Functional top speed to threaten defenders vertically.
  • Some flashes of very effective run-blocking ability.

Weaknesses

  • Tends to body catch a bit too often, which can negate some of the length and height advantages he has against shorter DBs.
  • Can get knocked off of his spot at the top of the stem by physical corners.
  • Despite reps on film showcasing some route-running nuance, I wouldn’t say he’s a complete product as a route runner; wasn’t asked to run a full route tree at LSU.
  • Formation versatility was a bit limited despite spending some time in the slot in 2023.
  • Effort level can be a bit inconsistent on some run-blocking snaps and on plays where he may not be the primary read.

As we look ahead to the 2024 fantasy football season, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles