American Football

2024 NFL Draft prospect profile: Brian Thomas, WR, LSU


LSU v Ole Miss
Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Is LSU’s “Other” wide receiver an answer for the Giants?

The common consensus is that the New York Giants not only need to draft a wide receiver, but will do so highly. Most of the attention has been paid to the pass catchers at the very top of the draft, but what about the next tier?

The 2024 NFL Draft is incredibly deep at wide receiver, and there might not be much separation between the top three receivers and the next three or five.

LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. has a rare blend of size and athleticism for the position and was highly productive in 2023. He had over 1,000 yards, averaging 17.3 yards per catch and racking up 17 touchdowns on 68 receptions.

Could the Giants perhaps trade back into the first round for the 6-foot-3, 210-pound speedster?

Prospect: Brian Thomas Jr. (11)
Games Watched: vs. Florida State (2023), vs. Alabama (2023), vs. Florida (2023), vs. Texas A&M (2023)


Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb) |


  • Size
  • Length
  • Athleticism
  • Run after catch
  • Versatility

Brian Thomas Jr. possesses a fantastic blend of size, athleticism, and versatility for the wide receiver position.

He has prototypical size at (just under) 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, with long (32 ¾ inch) arms and big (9 ¾ inch) hands. He combines those measurables with elite speed and great explosiveness. Thomas is able to lengthen his strides and run away from defenders, as well as create separation with lower-body explosiveness.

Thomas was used all over the LSU offense, playing out of the X, Flanker, and Slot alignments. He was also asked to attack deep as an outside and inside receiver, as well as work as a possession receiver against zone coverage. Thomas flashes some savvy as a route runner, using subtle fakes and stutter-steps to throw off defenders’ timing and he also has a good instinct for settling in voids in zone coverage. He also showed an understanding of his role within larger route concepts and both sold his routes to clear out defenders as well as use his size to create traffic.

He’s also a definite weapon in run-after-catch situations. Thomas’ burst allows him to create separation or break tackles in close quarters, and his long speed allows him to run away from most defenders. He isn’t a particularly shifty runner due to his height, but he has solid vision and is willing to fight for extra yardage.

Thomas is a willing blocker on the play side. He uses his length well to tie up defenders and while he isn’t a road grader, he positions himself well to seal defenders off from the play.


  • Field awareness
  • Aggressiveness

Thomas is a well-rounded receiver overall, however there are a few areas in which he’ll need to improve at the NFL level. His two greatest weaknesses are inconsistent field awareness and inconsistent aggressiveness.

To start, Thomas can seem to lose track of where he is on the field at times in the game. There were instances where he would attempt to avoid a tackle and pick up yards after the catch, only to take himself out of bounds when dodging the would-be tackle. Likewise, he didn’t always put himself in the best position to make catches easy or set himself up for yards after the catch. There were instances where he would turn the wrong way back to the ball, going against his own momentum or failing to put his body between the ball and the defender.

There were also instances where he would be frustratingly passive at the catch point. Rather than extending to attack the ball and pluck it out of the air, he would let the ball come to him. There were too many basket catches in his tape, and that led to the ball being knocked away at the last instant or slipping through his hands. Thomas has great length and big hands, but doesn’t always play up to his size.

Again, as stated before, there were also instances where he showed great field awareness or was very aggressive at the catch point. That suggests that these are issues he can work on and improve at the next level.

Game Tape

(Thomas is LSU receiver number 11, wearing a white sleeve on his left arm)


Brian Thomas Jr. projects as a starting wide receiver at the NFL level with positional and schematic versatility. He can play as an “X” receiver or as a possession receiver on the opposite side of the field, as well as a “big slot”. In particular, he was surprisingly effective running fade routes from the slot, getting a size and speed advantage on most slot cornerbacks.

Thomas still has some work to do to reach his full ceiling. He needs to be more consistently assertive as a route runner and at the catch point. He also needs to do a better job of keeping track of where he is on the field. That said, if he can improve those weaknesses, he has a very high ceiling at the NFL level.

Does he fit the Giants?

Final Word: A first round value.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login