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Brian Thomas

Touchdown-maker standing out for Jaguars

I'm starting to like Brian Thomas more these days. The Louisiana State first-rounder has a nice opportunity in Jacksonville, with Calvin Ridley gone and the Jaguars needing a new starter. And the early reports are positive, for multiple reasons.

Trevor Lawrence recently said Thomas has picked up the offense quickly; that's one positive. The other one isn't actually presented as a positive, but I find it sort of refreshing, since it's a rare quality among top wide receivers.

Offensive Coordinator Press Taylor indicates that Thomas doesn't talk very much. (The link features camp notes on all the rookie first-rounders; need to scroll down for Thomas.) How often do you hear that these days? "He's not a big talker," says Taylor. "So you're not always sure, you're searching for feedback. Are you picking up what we're saying? So far it's always translated over the field pretty good. He kind of nods and looks at you and goes out on the field and does it right."

Jacksonville traded down six spots before selecting Thomas, which suggested to me they were comfortable with another player (although it can be argued they really wanted Thomas but were just very confident he'd still be there at 23). In any case, he was considered a level below the top 3 (Harrison, Nabers, Odunze). But he was a pretty impressive college player, and he's wound up in a nice situation.

Thomas was LSU's No. 2 (1A?) wide receiver last year, with his 68 catches for 1,177 yards a level below new Giant Malik Nabers. But let's not rule out him being a comparable pro. He'll start out working with the far superior quarterback, and everything else looks pretty awesome with him.

At 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds, Thomas is bigger than Nabers, and just as fast (he ran a 4.33 at the combine). He also turned 21 fewer receptions into 3 more touchdown, establishing one of the more impressive scoring rates by a first-round pick in the last 10 years.

Table shows percentage of catches resulting in touchdowns by first-round wideouts since 2015. Skeptics will note that the two guys better than Thomas in this regard were not good pros, but I'm going to call it impressive production anyway (and Thomas did it on almost twice as many receptions as one of them).

1ST-ROUND WRS, 2015-2024, FINAL YR OF COLLEGE
YearPkPlayerNoYdsTDTD%
201529Phillip Dorsett368711027.8%
201615Corey Coleman7413632027.0%
202423Brian Thomas6811771725.0%
202017CeeDee Lamb6213271524.2%
20215JaMarr Chase8417802023.8%
20179John Ross8111501923.5%
201621Will Fuller6212581422.6%
20244Marvin Harrison6712111522.4%
202212Jameson Williams7915721721.5%
202110DeVonta Smith11718562521.4%
202211Chris Olave659361320.0%
202012Henry Ruggs40746820.0%
20175Corey Davis9715001919.6%
202210Garrett Wilson7010581318.6%
202218Treylon Burks6611041218.2%
201526Breshad Perriman501044918.0%
201622Josh Doctson7913271417.7%
202120Kadarius Toney709841217.1%
202022Justin Jefferson11115401816.2%
20246Malik Nabers8915691415.7%
202322Zay Flowers7810771215.4%
20249Rome Odunze9216401415.2%
202216Jahan Dotson9111821314.3%
20216Jaylen Waddle28591414.3%
202021Jalen Reagor43611614.0%
202025Brandon Aiyuk651192913.8%
201932N'Keal Harry7310881013.7%
202323Jordan Addison59875813.6%
201623Laquon Treadwell8211531113.4%
201925Marquise Brown7513181013.3%
202015Jerry Jeudy7711631013.0%
20154Amari Cooper12417271612.9%
201514DeVante Parker43855511.6%
201520Nelson Agholor10413131211.5%
201824D.J. Moore801033911.3%
20177Mike Williams9813611111.2%
202321Quentin Johnston601069610.0%
202432Xavier Legette71125579.9%
202320Jaxon Smith-Njigba95160699.5%
20157Kevin White1091447109.2%
20228Drake London88108478.0%
201826Calvin Ridley6396757.9%
202428Xavier Worthy75101456.7%
202431Ricky Pearsall6596546.1%
202127Rashod Bateman3647225.6%

Gets in the end zone and isn't a big talker. I'm definitely interested. He could be the No. 1 or 1A working with a better quarterback than most of the other first-rounders by year 2, and he'll come a little cheaper in drafts than a lot of them, too.

--Andy Richardson

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