Today we’re continuing a series looking at the six 2014 draft picks of the Kansas City Chiefs. We’ll look at how they fared in offseason practice and what the Chiefs can reasonably expect from them as rookies.
Fourth round: RB/WR/KR De'Anthony Thomas
Offseason: Thomas participated in a three-day rookie camp to start the offseason practice and a three-day full-squad camp to finish it. He missed the 10 practices in between because of NFL rule prohibiting players whose college was still in session from participating, as Oregon was. But he had regular Skype sessions with Chiefs running backs coach Eric Bieniemy to review the playbook. While on the field, Thomas played, as he put it, “a little bit of everywhere.’’ He lined up in a variety of spots, returned punts and kickoffs and showed the speed that made him a star at Oregon.
Expectations: The Chiefs are making an effort to get Thomas involved and need to find a way to put his speed to use. But he’s only 5-foot-9 and 174 pounds, so there’s a limit on how much they can expect to get from Thomas. At a minimum, he should be the kickoff and punt returner, where he should excel immediately.
Quote: “He’s just an explosive playmaker. He’s got world‐class speed. He ran track on the Oregon track team up there, which is one of the better programs in the country. He’s the all‐time leading punt return average guy in Oregon school history. He’s got the most kick return yards in school history. In addition to that, he’s averaged over 6 yards a carry as a running back. I think with his speed, his explosiveness in the open field, I think there’s a variety of ways we can find a way to use him on both offense and special teams.” -- Chiefs scout Trey Koziol.