Justin Thomas runs insanely fast 40, shows versatility at GT pro day
ATLANTA -- Former Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas ran the 40-yard dash with an unofficial time between 4.32-4.37 at the program's pro day on Friday.
Thomas' run would have been the fastest at the NFL Combine among quarterbacks. Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight had the fastest time amongst quarterbacks with a 4.54. Thomas' time would have put him between fourth and seventh among all Combine invites.
Thomas, 23, was the most worked man on the field at the Mary R. & John F. Brock Indoor Football Facility. He threw passes, ran routes and caught passes, returned punts, in addition to other various drills. While he had a couple dropped passes, Thomas was able to make a one-handed catch on a deep throw. The catch drew applause and whistles from onlookers. It also happened to be his last catch of the day.
When it was all said and done, Thomas said he was only a little tired.
"I think I'll lay down for the rest of the day," he joked.
Since the end of the Jackets' football season on Dec. 31, Thomas has trained at Georgia Tech to improve his versatility and find ways to showcase that at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, he can play anywhere on the field.
Head coach Paul Johnson said he believes Thomas can be an NFL quarterback if given the opportunity, comparing him to Tyrod Taylor, Robert Griffin III and Michael Vick because of his quick feet and elusiveness in the pocket.
"I think Justin can play a lot of places," Johnson said. "I know he's not the prototype size-wise, but he's got a strong arm. Really understands the game."
After quarterback, Johnson said Thomas would be a good inside receiver or corner back. While quarterback is Thomas' first choice, he's open to anything.
"That's my first mindset. That's what I play, that's what I do. But at the end of the day, all my doors are open and like today I'm competing for everything," Thomas said. "I know the game, every position. Just being at that quarterback spot you know every position on the field anyway, offense and defense. Just having that experience will help out a lot."
The triple-option offense has been said to do players a disservice if they want to try and make it in the NFL because it is a bigger transition for a player. However, Johnson called that a "recruiting misnomer."
"If you're a good enough player, you're going to make it in the league. We've had guys from every position play in the NFL in this offense," he said.
Friday was the first time Thomas had been in front of scouts and teams since wrapping up his collegiate career. Thomas had 1,559 passing yards and eight touchdowns last season. He also rushed for 604 yards and six more touchdowns. He had 7,166 total yards and 62 total touchdowns in four years at Georgia Tech.
Thomas said there was a lot of buildup to Friday, and now that it's finally over, he can get feedback from teams and see where they visualize him on the field.
"Going forward, they'll have a better idea of what they want. I'll start hearing more things, and we'll go from there," he said.
Thomas will work out with the Atlanta Falcons, and he was told by other teams and scouts they will stay in touch.