2015 Draft Scout Ratings:Offense:QB | RB | FB | TE | WR | C | OT | OG | KDefense:DE | DT | ILB | OLB | CB | FS | SS | P | LS | Team Reports ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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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
09/14/14 - TE Julius Thomas is becoming Peyton Manning's go-to receiver in the end zone. He caught the first of Manning's three touchdown passes, a 4-yarder to finish off the Broncos' opening possession. Thomas has four touchdown receptions in Denver's first two games.
09/11/14 - TE Julius Thomas was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week after catching three touchdowns against the Colts, but was working with a green football during practice Wednesday. The green football is put into play after a player fumbles, and Thomas had one fumble on offense and bobbled an on-side kickoff that the Colts recovered.
09/08/14 - TE Julius Thomas knew when he was handed the game plan that Week 1 could be special for the offense -- and for him.
"On Wednesday you're always saying, 'Man, look at this game plan. There's five touchdowns," said Thomas. "It doesn't always happen but the first one (a 3-yard catch) was a play just down in the low red (zone)."
That was just the beginning for Thomas, who caught a career-high three touchdown receptions, the most for any Broncos tight end in 11 years. All came in the second quarter, powering the Broncos to a 24-0 lead that allowed them to withstand the Colts' second-half surge.
Indianapolis tried covering Thomas with different defenders: linebackers Jerrell Freeman and D'Qwell Jackson and safety LaRon Landry. None succeeded. He beat the Colts short, and long, with a 34-yard catch late in the first quarter that set up his first touchdown.
His only blemish came on a fourth-quarter on-side kickoff. Thomas is filling the role handled by Eric Decker last year. Sunday, he failed to finish the job, losing his grip on Pat McAfee's kickoff. The Colts recovered and scored to narrow the deficit to seven points.
"Your team's depending on you. You have to make that play," he said. "It's something I'll look at, something I'll improve upon and I cant do anything about it now, I can just try to do better next time."
09/07/14 - TE Julius Thomas had a breakthrough year last season when he caught 12 touchdown passes, the most by a tight end in Broncos history. He began this season by building on that and showing he is going to present matchup problems for opposing defenses on a weekly basis. "It's tough to cover a guy who runs as well as he does," QB Peyton Manning said.
Thomas finished with seven receptions for 104 yards. "I think he's a great player," coach John Fox said.
08/05/14 - TE Julius Thomas was held out of the scrimmage Aug. 2 because of a thigh bruise suffered in practice Aug. 1, but he was back to full participation Aug. 4 after the team's off day.
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