Todd McShay was among the many NFL draft prognosticators to list Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas as potentially one of the top quarterbacks in the 2013 draft.
But the ESPN draft analyst has cooled on Thomas after a slow start this year and was highly critical of Virginia Tech’s offensive scheme in a teleconference Friday.
McShay had plenty of praise about Thomas’ potential, saying the quarterback has Ben Roethlisberger-type skills in terms of creating plays and making things happen with his physicality, but after watching the junior this year, he has questions about Thomas’ accuracy.
“Some guys you’re watching them and just throw after throw, it becomes second nature to them,” McShay said. “They can control the trajectory, they can control the cuts. They can control where it’s going. Even if their footwork is a little bit off, they can guide the ball where it needs to be. Or, they get to a point to where as long as their feet are proper, everything else flows together, kind of like a golf swing, if you will.
“And with Logan I don’t see that. It’s almost like watching Shaquille O’Neal sometimes at the free throw line. His hands are so much bigger than the ball that it just doesn’t come off his hand naturally, is the best way I can describe it. So I’m starting to worry about that aspect of it.”
Thomas’ accuracy has dropped significantly from his sophomore season, when he completed 59.8 percent of his passes. That number is down to 53.6 percent his year. He already has eight interceptions after throwing 10 all of last season.
McShay acknowledged that the drop probably has a lot to do with the turnover on the Hokies’ offense, of which he was highly critical. He said Virginia Tech’s wide receivers have been “marginal at best” and the offensive line hasn’t protected, leading to an overall consistency.
He saved his most damning statements for the Hokies’ offensive scheme, however, which he said was “out-dated by 10 or 15 years” and could affect Thomas’ preparedness for the next level.
“I do think the best thing that could happen to him, whenever he does come out for the draft, is maybe go a little bit later,” McShay said. “Maybe get drafted in the second or third round and not have that pressure to play right away. Because I don’t think he’s going to be ready to start from a consistency standpoint.
“And I think knowing what I know coming out of that program on the offensive side, I don’t think that he’s going to be ready from a mental standpoint. He may be a genius or … I have no idea how smart he is as a player. But he’d have to make such an adjustment from that offense to NFL offenses that no matter how smart you are, it’s going to take a little bit of time.”
Despite the harsh words, McShay still gushed about Thomas’ physical tools, adding that it’s still too early to completely tear his game apart.
“Logan Thomas has all the potential in the world,” McShay said. “He’s big, he’s athletic, he’s strong. He throws a really nice deep ball. He can drive the ball down the field. There are flashes that you watch and just say, ‘Man, if he could ever pull it together.’”