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Friday, April 11, 2014
Daily draft dish: De'Anthony is De'xplosive

By Rich Cimini

Every morning, from now until draft day (May 8), we'll provide a draft factoid, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information. We'll keep it New York Jets-centric, sticking to team needs, possible selections, trends, etc.

It's no secret the Jets would like to add a big-play dimension on offense. One of the most intriguing weapons in the draft is Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas, a Darren Sproles-like talent. Even though his production dipped in 2012 and 2013, he still finished his career with an average of 7.8 yards per rush, including 5.4 yards before initial contact. What does that mean? Either he benefitted from a lot of big holes or he was so fast that opponents couldn't get a quick hand on him. Chances are, it was a combination.

Over his final three seasons, Thomas produced 12 offensive plays and 10 kickoff/punt returns of 40 yards or longer. He scored 13 touchdowns from that distance, tying Dri Archer for the most among running backs.

Because he's only 5-9, 170 pounds, Thomas is projected as a middle-round pick.