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Could UNLV’s Lexington Thomas Add Another Dimension To The Redskins?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects who could contribute to the Redskins

UTEP v UNLV Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Lexington Thomas, RB
School: UNLV | Conference: Mountain West
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 5’8” / 175 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 7th Round or UDFA
Pro Comparison: Tarik Cohen

College Statistics

Player Overview

If there is one thing the Redskins offense and special teams is currently lacking, it is explosiveness. By bringing in running back Lexington “Lightning” Thomas, could this change for the better? Thomas was both a football and track star in high school at Benjamin Davis in Aldine, Texas. Coming out of the Houston area as a two-star recruit, Lexington only received a single Division I scholarship offer. This came from UNLV, where he was vigorously recruited by coach Tony Sanchez.

During his four years with the Rebels, Thomas was able to average 5.6 yards per carry despite playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the country. He was also able to amass a school record 40 career rushing touchdowns. During his Junior and Senior campaigns he put together back-to-back 1000 yard rushing seasons. This effort was good enough for him to garner consecutive All-Mountain West Team honors (2017 First-Team & 2018 Second-Team).

After finishing his college career in Sin City, Thomas received an invitation to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. While he only carried the rock five times in the contest, he made the most of his opportunities by averaging 8 yards per run, including a 17 yard scamper. Thomas did not receive an invite to this years combine however, so he will have to wait until UNLV’s pro day this spring to show scouts his big play attributes.

Strengths

  • Possess’ an electric combination of speed and short area quickness
  • Thomas has shown that he has good field vision, often finding holes and running lanes that closed quickly due to poor blocking
  • His agility and ability to create quick cuts make him very elusive. This guy knows how to make people miss
  • He is a better receiver than he is given credit for. He didn’t have a lot of balls thrown his way in college, but he still amassed 491 career receiving yards

Weaknesses

  • Clearly the biggest issue is his diminutive size and slender build for a running back at the NFL level. He’ll need to add weight, especially in his lower half, but too much could affect his speed and shiftiness
  • He does not have good blocking skills, like the rest of the Rebels team, so he will likely be relegated to situational plays and special teams
  • Attitude issues have been noted in the past with school, coaches and teammates

Let’s See His Work

How He Would Fit The Redskins

Well...I’m not 100% convinced that he would fit. Yes, we could use more explosiveness on both offense and special teams. And Yes, Thomas possess ideal speed and some very slippery moves. But at his size (check out the lack of girth in his lower half) he would only see a handful of offensive snaps per contest. Where I do think we could use his special skill set is as a primary punt/kick return specialist. So the question then becomes, do we have room on the roster for a dedicated return specialist? And if so, is he worth using a late draft pick on? With a team that has as many holes to fill as the Redskins do, I’m not sure that is reasonable. With that being said, if he does in fact go unselected in April, bringing him to training camp as an undrafted free agent to show off his skills might be a good move. Let him show the coaches what he can do in pads versus league veterans. Crazier things have happened, especially with this team. Stay tuned Skins fans.