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The New Orleans Saints had one of the steals of the 2010 draft in tight end Jimmy Graham, a four-year basketball player for the Miami Hurricanes who stayed on campus to play one year of football. Thomas is looking to take the same route to the NFL after walking onto the football team last spring after playing four years of basketball at Portland State.
Also like Graham, Thomas had very little football experience even in high school, playing just one season before focusing on basketball.
However, at 6-feet-5 and 251 pounds, Thomas has the size and athleticism to warrant a mid-round flier in hopes of uncovering another Graham. The NFL is chock full of former hoops stars who have excelled at tight end, including perennial Pro Bowlers Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates.
Thomas impressed at the East-West Shrine Game and has the size and length to threaten the seam.
Thomas, a first team All-Big Sky Conference selection in 2010, had 29 receptions for 453 yards and two touchdowns in 2010. It was his first year of collegiate football after playing four seasons for the Portland State basketball team.
Familiar to Viking fans for a different reason - he starred on the Viking basketball team for four seasons... set school records for career games played (121), career wins (78), career field goals percentage (.663)... also participated on two Big Sky Champion teams and two NCAA Tournaments (2008 and 2009)... twice named to the Big Sky All-Tournament team... made game-winning dunk with 3.5 seconds left to play in beating Montana State for the 2009 Big Sky Tournament Championship... averaged 10.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and and shot a school-record .671 from the field as a senior.
Son of Greg and Toria Thomas... born June 27, 1988... brothers are Trenton and Marcus... earned his degree in Business Administration, will graduate this spring... hobbies are hanging out with friends, reading and basketball.
Draft Scout Player News
09/26/16 - TE Julius Thomas injured his elbow in Sunday's game but played through it with the help of a brace. He'll be watched and updated on Wednesday.
09/15/16 - TE Julius Thomas and CB Jalen Ramsey, who both suffered ankle injuries in last week's loss to Green Bay, practiced in full a second straight day on Thursday. Both should be good to play on Sunday at San Diego.
09/14/16 - TE Julius Thomas caught a 22-yard pass for a touchdown against Green Bay. It marked Thomas' 30th TD reception since 2013, the most by a tight end and the fifth-most in the NFL over that span.
09/11/16 - TE Julius Thomas, who missed the first month of the season with a broken hand last season, had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.
08/10/16 - TE Julius Thomas has been near-impossible to cover during the first couple of weeks of training camp. Thomas had another strong day on Tuesday, catching several passes on slant routes. Following one such catch in the red zone that resulted in a touchdown, Thomas turned to the defense and yelled, "Try something else."
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