LaFell, Thomas Late 1st-Round Prospects

Either receiver could fit in as rangy, physical targets for quarterback Joe Flacco.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Friday, February 26th, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Categories: 2010 NFL Combine, Mike Duffy

Both LSU’s Brandon LaFell and Demaryius Thomas of Georgia Tech are two big, physical receiving prospects that are straddling the first and second rounds of the draft.

But while LaFell will have the ability to prove he has the speed and hands to match his trademark physicality, Thomas will be watching idly on the sidelines.

That’s because Thomas, the 6-foot-4, 229-pound beast broke his foot recently while training for the NFL Scouting Combine.

While executing the three-cone drill, he said he “popped it on the last cone.”

“It’s terrible,” Thomas explained. “Once I did it, I felt real bad. I started crying and stuff. It just hurt my heart.”

Even though he hopes to work out in April, Thomas’ draft status could be affected.

With his blend of size and speed, Thomas averaged 15.9 yards per catch as deep threat, hauling in 46 passes for 1,154 yards and eight touchdowns, and was cemented as a first-round pick before the accident. Now, his health will certainly be called into question.

“I thought I had a great chance,” he said. “I’m not getting really bad feedback. A lot of teams said, I’m going to be okay. They told me just go through the treatment and rehab and do what you can and you’ll be fine.”

Meanwhile, LaFell, who revealed that he has a formal interview with the Ravens scheduled for Saturday evening, is feeling as good as can be after a storied career with the Tigers.

Regarded as the draft’s best senior wideout, the 6-foot-3, 206-pounder tallied 175 catches, 2,517 yards and 25 touchdowns over a four-year span. During that time, he fashioned himself from a 170-pound waif into the solidly-built player he is today.

“When I first got there, I was 170,” LaFell said. “I hated lifting weights, but my coaches and the older guys really pushed me. For the last five years, they put me in a good situation leaving that school to take it to the next level.”

LaFell and Thomas each expressed interest in the Ravens, especially the former Yellow Jacket.

Thomas posted his gaudy numbers in coach Paul Johnson’s run-oriented triple-option attack, making the most of his opportunities.

“I know the Ravens run the ball a lot and Georgia Tech runs the ball a lot,” said Thomas, who also expects to meet with Baltimore. “I feel like I would be a good fit.”

Either player could fit in with the Ravens as rangy and physical targets for quarterback Joe Flacco.

The Ravens currently possess the 25th-overall selection, and should they choose to go with one of these receivers, there may be an opportunity to fall back into the second round and pounce.

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