Before the season kicked off, the Denver Broncos already had their sights set high with a roster full of stars. They were already considered to be the best passing offense in the league with Peyton Manning at the helm and wide receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and newest weapon, Wes Welker.
These four were expected to wreak havoc on opposing defenses, but now defenses have a fourth weapon in Manning’s arsenal to worry about. Julius Thomas is set to continue the trend of former basketball stars like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham, transitioning into top-tier tight ends.
Thomas played four years of basketball at Portland State, ending his career as the all-time field goal percentage leader in the school’s history. He played only one season with the school’s football team in 2010 where he earned first team All-Big Sky honors. In the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Broncos took a chance on the former basketball standout, selecting him with the 129th pick.
Prior to this season, Thomas had only appeared in nine games, amassing one catch for five yards. This year, Thomas stood out amongst the team’s tight ends above veterans Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreesen, earning himself the starting tight end position in the league’s most potent offense.
In his first game starting as a professional against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, Thomas caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Through four games this season Thomas has four touchdowns, trailing only Jimmy Graham for the league leader among tight ends.
We all remember the success Dallas Clark had with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. and there is nothing to say that Thomas can’t surpass Clark’s numbers with that athletic ability he has. Thomas is just another threat that defenses must prepare for and can become a real threat in the red zone.