Who is the 5-foot-11 193 pound Roc Thomas?
Roc Thomas is a former Auburn running back who transferred to Jacksonville State when he wasn't able to get a lot of playing time with the Auburn Tigers. At his size, he isn't likely to ever be a guy who will average 25 carries per game, and scouts typically describe him as ''shifty" or "athletic” back. The good news for the Rams, is that he is a guy who probably will be available in the fifth or sixth rounds. This allows the team to address more obvious needs at linebacker and on the O-line before trying to find further depth at running back. The Rams aren't looking for a starting running back, and Thomas is the kind of guy who could help fill in for Todd Gurley as part of a ''running back by committee" approach should--heaven forbid--that becomes necessary.
Roc Thomas Highlights
While Thomas is not super-fast, he does feature great elusiveness, vision and athleticism and can make people miss in the open field and runs with more power than you would expect from a guy his size. He's a tough and gutsy back, who fights for every yard and isn't afraid to hit or take a hit. Thomas did a lot of his running came out of the shotgun while at Jacksonville State, which could help his value with the Rams, especially as a third-down back. While Thomas wasn't utilized that much as a receiver, he did well when asked to catch the ball from the backfield.
Thomas had a reputation in college as a "home run" type of running back, his 4.56 forty-yard dash time is not the kind of speed that keeps defensive coordinators awake at night. With his size, he simply can't be expected to take the pounding of a feature back week in and week out, and he will probably never be one in the NFL. The fact he didn't play much at Auburn, and the majority of his running came at Jacksonville State, it may be unfair to evaluate his talent against top-notch competition.
How can he fit in with the Rams?
Thomas will probably never be a star in the NFL, but that doesn't mean he couldn't be a valuable asset as a third-down change of pace back. A worst-case-scenario, if there's an injury to Todd Gurley, it's not too bizarre to think Thomas and current number two back Malcolm Brown potentially could become a pretty effective, thunder-and-lightning type of duo. In my opinion, this kid is definitely worth a pick in the lower rounds.
Steven McGuire, New York Jets