How Will Denver Broncos New Wildcard Lamaar Thomas Perform?
The nickname “Flash” is fitting for Lamaar Thomas, an undrafted receiver out of New Mexico, recently picked up by the Denver Broncos. A force in the Mountain West conference, Thomas displayed his versatility and speed as an Antwaan Randle-El type player. Even though he was slotted at wide receiver, Thomas proved himself a jack-of-all-trades by running the ball and taking snaps at quarterback. Off the field, he excelled as a track athlete running the 4×100.
Thomas’ stats certainly contradict his impact on the field. As the top receiver for New Mexico, he accumulated only 165 yards. Thomas had to find a way to make an impact on a team that only wanted to run the ball. In the 2012 season, the Lobos nearly tripled their rushing output from 113 YPG to 301, leaning on junior running back Kasey Carrier, leaving little room for the passing game. Thomas joined the rushing attack, racking up 220 yards in his senior season, and even lined up under center in New Mexico’s wildcat formation. Although liste
d as wide receiver, Thomas proved that his primary position is merely a suggestion.
Despite his versatility and athleticism, Thomas can’t reserve his place in the locker room quite yet. With the emergence of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker last season (who doesn’t emerge when Peyton Manning is throwing the ball?), in addition to the signing of Wes Welker, Denver now views their receivers as a strength position.
For Thomas, the key to making the final roster will be his speed and dynamism. Denver’s no wildcat team, but in an NFL-era where quarterbacks like Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson have led their teams to the playoffs with their arms and their legs, and the Jacksonville Jaguars created a new offensive position just to cover the versatility of Denard Robinson, there may be a place in the Broncos offense for Thomas yet. And if not, it sure would be fun to watch him return kicks.
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