After quarterback Logan Thomas set school records in 2011 as a first-year starter, his name shot up NFL draft boards. ESPN analyst Todd McShay was one of many people who mentioned Thomas as a potential first-round pick, but after Thomas and the Hokies started this season slow, it appears McShay doesn’t feel that way anymore.
On a teleconference with reporters Friday, McShay answered a question from Andy Bitter of the Roanoke Times concerning Thomas’s draft stock by blasting Virginia Tech’s offensive scheme and wondering whether Thomas’s release was affecting his accuracy.
McShay compared Thomas’s throwing motion to “watching Shaquille O’Neal at the free throw line” and went on to say that the redshirt junior would not be ready to start in the NFL right away because Virginia Tech’s offensive scheme “is outdated by 10, 15 years.”
Thomas has seen his completion percentage drop from 59.8 percent last year to 53.6 percent through seven games this season. He also has eight interceptions after throwing just 10 a year ago. He is, however, coming off his two best performances of the season against North Carolina and Duke.
Here’s the full transcript of what McShay had to say. Let me know if you agree in the comments section.
“Logan Thomas has all the potential in the world. He’s big, he’s athletic, he’s strong. He throws a really nice, deep ball. He can drive the ball down the field. There are flashes that you watch and say, man, if he could ever pull it together. I think part of it is becoming more consistent with his foot work.
“But I also am starting to worry about just how natural he is with his accuracy in terms of the ball coming off of his hand. Some guys you watch them and throw after throw it becomes second nature to them. They can control the trajectory. They can control the touch. They can control where it’s going. Even if their footwork is a little bit off, they can guide the ball to where it needs to be, or they get to a point where as long as their feet are proper, everything else flows together. Kind of like a golf swing, if you will.
“With Logan, I don’t see that. It’s almost like watching Shaquille O’Neal at the free throw line. His hands are so much bigger than the ball, it just doesn’t come off his hand naturally is the best way I could describe it. So I’m starting to worry about that aspect of it.
“As I said, I’ve made the comparison, he has Ben Roethlisberger type physical tools, and he plays the game similarly to Big Ben in creating things and making things happen and how physical he is. But his wide receivers have been marginal at best. There is no offensive consistency. Receivers aren’t running the routes they should be. They’re not in the places they should be. His offensive line is not protected. And I think their offensive scheme, to be quite honest with you, is outdated by 10, 15 years. So I don’t think he’s getting a whole lot of help around him.
“I do think the best thing that could happen to him whenever he does come out for the draft is maybe go a little later. Maybe get drafted in the second or third round and not have that pressure to play right away. Because I don’t think he’s going to be ready to come in and start from a consistency standpoint. Knowing what I know about guys coming out of that program on the offensive side, I don’t think that he’s going to be ready from a mental standpoint.
“He may be a genius. I have no idea how smart he is as a player but you have to make such an adjustment from that offense to the NFL’s offense that no matter how smart you are, it’s going to take a little time.”