Drake Thomas 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- First-Team All-ACC and NC State’s Defensive MVP in 2021
- Missed 2021 spring following surgery for a torn pectoral muscle
- Played running back and linebacker in high school
- Brother, Thayer, is a wide receiver at NC State
- Scheme tendencies: Mixed fronts
- 2022 projected role: Starting LB
Pros: Drake Thomas is an aggressive defender that stands out when watching NC State on defense. He is a physical downhill defender that quickly processes the run and triggers. He is relentless in pursuit of the football with unquestioned effort on every snap. He has success with shallow zone coverage drops and he’s instinctive to work into throwing lanes—he found some impressive ball production in 2021. Thomas has provided NC State with an excellent candidate to spy opposing QBs, where he anticipates well and does a sound job of containing. He has the makings of an outstanding special teams player, where he starred early in his career for the Wolfpack, at the next level.
Cons: Drake Thomas is a likable college player but is missing key characteristics when projecting him to the next level. From a height and length standpoint, Thomas doesn’t meet the mark. His lack of length is notable and it presents challenges when deconstructing blocks and when it comes to reducing his tackle radius. Thomas is inconsistent at calculating pursuit angles and his short arms don’t help with that margin for error—there are missed tackles on tape that are a result of his below-average arm length. Thomas has sufficient straight-line speed but his change of direction and lateral movement skills are segmented.
Drake Thomas NFL Draft Scouting Report by Joe Marino