Tavion Thomas NFL Draft Scouting Report
RB, Utah Utes
Tavion Thomas spent two seasons at Cincinnati before transferring to Independence CC in 2020 and then bringing his talent to Utah. After settling in at Utah and overcoming some fumbling issues early in 2021, Thomas got his chance to become the feature back for the Utes and delivered a historic season where he broke the program record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 21.
His 2022 campaign failed to meet expectations as Thomas wasn’t always the Utes’ featured ball carrier. The loss of his aunt who raised him had an impact in addition to a toe injury that kept him out late in the season. Head coach Kyle Whittingham cited “consistency and accountability on and off the field” for what it would take for Thomas to again be Utah’s featured running back after hinting at an early-season suspension.
Thomas is a thickly-built runner that runs angry and is highly competitive. He is a balanced runner that does well to keep his pads square. While Utah’s offensive line creates plenty of displacement for Thomas to run behind, he showcases excellent vision and the ability to follow and work off his blocks. He’s a highly instinctive runner that has a great feel for cut-back opportunities while showcasing good creativity. At the same time, Thomas is a disciplined runner that knows how to pick his spots while demonstrating good patience. For a bigger back, I’m impressed with how light he is on his feet and how smoothly he can string together moves, work laterally, and stop/start. Thomas is dynamic in short-yardage/goal-line situations. While he doesn’t have elite long speed, he does have a second gear and offers some big-play potential to go with his grind-it-out skill set.
Thomas has been benched for fumbling issues and ended his FBS career with one fumble for every 53 rushes. Thomas is a taller back that would benefit from running with more consistent pad level. Thomas’ impact on passing downs has been completely non-existent. Utah rarely utilized him in pass protection and he finished his college career with just 10 receptions. He has a lot to prove in terms of ball security, pass protection, and as a receiving threat.
Thomas’s size, power, vision, and physicality make him an attractive downhill runner that should dominate in short-yardage at the next level as a complementary back, but there are a number of concerns and missing components to his evaluation that temper excitement.
Top Reasons to Buy In:
- Size and power
- Elusiveness for his size
Top Reasons For Concern:
- Inconsistency in college
- Passing-down impact as a blocker and receiver
Size (NFL Combine):
Height: 6′ 0”
Weight: 237 lbs
Arm Length: 31 1/8”
Hand Size: 9 1/4”
Athletic Testing (NFL Combine):
40-yard Dash: 4.74s
Vertical Jump: 30”
Broad Jump: 9′ 10”
Bench Reps: TBD
Ideal Role: Complementary running back
Scheme Fit: Inside zone, gap
Prospect Comparison: Eric Shelton (2005 NFL Draft)
TDN Consensus Grade: 68.00/100 (Sixth-Round Value)
- Marino Grade: 68.00/100
Written By: Joe Marino
Exposures: Stanford (2021), UCLA (2021), Ohio State (2021), Florida (2022), Stanford (2022), UCLA (2022)
Tavion Thomas NFL Draft Scouting Report. Add him to your big board here.