Lions 2024 NFL Draft report: Brian Thomas Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU

USA Today

It is finally draft season for Lions fans.

Brad Holmes and his front office have proven they are very capable of putting together great draft classes. They have had major hits on every day of the draft, but especially on Day Two. This roster isn’t in desperate need of much because of his work, but they do have some positions that need to be addressed.

This offseason, they should be focusing on getting better play out of their defensive backs, adding depth on the defensive line, and building out the wide receiver room.

These scouting reports should introduce you to some of the names that Lions fans could hear during the three days of the NFL Draft.

Background

  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 209
  • Three-year starter at LSU
  • 2023 3rd team All-American selection
  • 2023 2nd team All-SEC selection

College Production

  • 127 receptions on 176 targets
  • 1,897 receiving yards
  • 14.9 yards per reception
  • 24 receiving touchdowns

Notable PFF Stats

  • 672 yards after contact in his career
  • His average depth of target was 12.2
  • Dropped only 9.3% of his passes
  • 47.2% contested catch rate

Traits and Skills

Elite Speed Brian Thomas Jr. ran a 4.33 40-yard dash while being 6’3″ and 209 pounds. If we are being honest that is way more impressive than what Xavier Worthy did and nearly 40 pounds lighter. It flashed on every single rep on his film but now the testing numbers back it up. Bonafide, elite speed for a brilliant receiver. Size Thomas Jr. isn’t just speed though, he uses his size to win contested catches and overpower defenders. He didn’t face much press coverage but when he did he handled it well and in zone coverage, he was able to work through any traffic jams because of it. Blocking Ability The best part of the size of Brian Thomas Jr. is he did show he is both a capable and willing blocker. This skill alone will make an NFL coaching staff fall in love with him on film. The speed and hands he has are just a bonus when you wrap the all together, he is a complete receiver.

Fit within the Lions Roster

Brian Thomas Jr. in most other draft classes would be the number one receiver. It just so happens he finds himself in an all-time class but things will be okay. The Lions have a ton of speed already on the outside with Jameson Williams but the size paired with the speed for Thomas Jr. has me wanting him to be a Lion. Williams and Thomas Jr. on the outside and then Amon-Ra St. Brown in the slot, talk about cooking with gas for the receiving game.

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