Getting exact testing results out of pro day can be a challenge, particularly for the 40-yard dash. But former NC State linebacker Drake Thomas was able to recall some of his results from Tuesday’s workout in front of NFL scouts in Raleigh.
He had a 36.5-inch vertical leap, did a 9-foot-8 broad jump and lifted 225 pounds on the bench press 18 times. The reps on the weight lift was not quite what Thomas wanted, he acknowledged.
As for the 40-yard dash, Thomas heard that he was in the high 4.5-to-low 4.6 second range.
“I would say none of them are PR [personal records], but I set a little range for myself as I go into this, and I definitely hit into those ballpark ranges,” Thomas noted.
That was the only chance that Thomas had to work out in front of NFL scouts, since he was somewhat surprisingly not invited to the combine in February in Indianapolis, Ind.
“It stung a little bit,” Thomas admitted about the snub. “… Kind of just had to rethink why I am, where I am, what helped me get there.”
Yet, Thomas has no regrets about his decision to leave NC State early for the NFL. He did so after piling up 101 tackles, including 19 for loss and 7.5 sacks, and 23 quarterback hurries in 13 games last season.
All were team-highs for Thomas.
In 2022, Thomas also led NC State in tackles (100), tackles for loss (13.5) and interceptions (3) while sharing team-high in sacks (6). He added 9 quarterback hurries, tied for second most on the Wolfpack’s heralded defense.
Thus, Thomas felt the time was right to test his game at the highest level.
“I didn’t think there was really anything left for me to prove in college football — two back-to-back All-ACC and I put together two back-to-back very productive seasons,” Thomas noted. “At the end of last season, I sat down and I felt like where I am right now is exactly where I wanted to be.”
Thomas was invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game, where his position coach was future NFL Hall of Famer and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
“They told me I was explosive, I was fast, diagnosed well, all the things that I feel like a lot of people already knew,” Thomas recalled.
Between that game and pro day, Thomas confirmed that he has talked with several NFL teams.
Drake Thomas also has a ready-made response to any NFL teams that may question the 6-foot Thomas’ height.
“It’s never stopped me from making plays before,” Thomas noted. “I just continue to rise to the level people tell me I can’t.”
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