Chiefs #4: RB De'Anthony Thomas

De'Anthony Thomas

With two defensive picks to begin the 2014 NFL Draft for the Kansas City Chiefs, Head Coach Andy Reid, has a new toy. After selecting Oregon Running Back, De'Anthony Thomas, he now has one of the most electric offensive and special teams threats to coming out of college.

In the NFL, you can never have enough speed on your roster. When the Kansas City Chiefs were on the clock in the fourth round, they had options at Quarterback and Wide Receiver but felt they needed to find someone who could replace the productivity of Dexter McCluster, who departed in free agency last March to the Tennessee Titans.

In drafting Oregon running back, De'Anthony Thomas, the former Los Angeles Crenshaw High School standout, fits perfectly into the Chiefs offensive schemes. Blessed with great speed as a runner he also has solid hands to eventually become a slot receiver for Kansas City.

But if he's going to make an immediate impact on the Chiefs this season until he can absorb the offensive playbook, Thomas should line up as the teams punt or kick-off return man. He along with second year running back, Knile Davis, could share those return duties in Kansas City this season.

Thomas isn't an every down player but the Chiefs don't need him to fill that role. If the Chiefs offense is going to exceed the numbers they put up a year ago, having a speed-burning specialist that they can throw into the offensive mix every Sunday - will be invaluable asset to Reid.

Before signing with Oregon four years ago, Thomas was considered the top rated high school player in the nation. When he went to the Northwest he became a scoring machine for the Ducks playing both a part time and starters role for the Pac-10 team.

In Kansas City, he should fit into any role the Chiefs define for him. The best part of his game; Thomas understands what to do in open spaces. He doesn't need a big seem, either running the ball or catching it, out of the backfield.

In the return game, he reminds me of Dante Hall. Thomas has the ability, despite his smaller frame, to make tacklers whiff any time he touches the ball. Even further once that happens, he might be the fastest player in this draft who can stop on a dime and hit full stride in a matter of two steps.

After the playoff loss the Chiefs suffered against the Indianapolis Colts in January that saw both Jamaal Charles and the aforementioned Davis, go out with injuries, Thomas can be a spot starter and special teams contributor right away for Kansas City.

The trio the Chiefs have put together in back-to-back drafts is mighty impressive. All three running backs (Charles, Davis & Thomas) add a different gear and style to the offense. If the Chiefs are going to compete in the AFC West, they need more productivity outside of Charles.

By adding Thomas in the fourth round, the Chiefs filled a big void they lost with the defection of McCluster and also added insurance should injuries hit the running back position in Kansas City next season.


WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Will Thomas out perform what McCluster did last season in KC?


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