Scouting Reports: Pflugrad, Thomas
Aaron Pflugrad (Arizona State)
5-foot-10, 182 lbs.
Outstanding competitor and work ethic. Deceptive speed. Knows how to set up defenders and get open, especially against zone defenses. Soft, dependable hands. Can make the difficult catch. Shows elusiveness after catching the ball. Always knows where the down markers are and rarely makes mental errors.
Lacks the prototype measurable. Not a speed burner. Is quicker than he is fast. Not a true deep threat. Better vs. zone than press man. He has some elusiveness but lacks a second gear burst in the open field.
After catching a total of 29 balls in 2010, Pflugrad has become the Sun Devils' leading receiver after six games with 26 catches including 4 scores. The quick and competitive route runner always works to get open and has become very reliable as a third down option for QB Brock Osweiler. The son of Montana head coach Robin Pflugrad has impressed everyone this season with his work ethic on and off the field. He is the classic overachiever type who might not have the prototype size/speed ratio but plays big and with enormous effort. He wants the ball in clutch situations and does possess the ability to make a roster at the NFL level if given an opportunity. Similar in style to New England's Wes Welker, a guy who was often overlooked but when he got on the field of play he was very difficult to cover and produced consistently.
De'Anthony Thomas (Oregon)
5-foot-9, 180 lbs.
Outstanding speed and quickness. Can stop/start on a dime. Very good lateral movement and vision at the line of scrimmage. Can accelerate in a hurry. Multiple miss runner in the open field. Good hands catching the ball out of the backfield. Can spring for a big play at any time.
Overall size and strength. Blocking not his forte due to size but not afraid to stick his nose in and attempt to stymie blitzing LB's. Durability could be an issue.
The true freshman and heir apparent to star runner LaMichael James could play a huge role this week vs. Arizona State if James' elbow injury keeps him sidelined. Thomas was rated by most recruiting publications as the nation's No. 2 ranked RB coming out of Los Angeles's Crenshaw high school last season. Like James, he has excellent speed, quickness and elusiveness and can make the big play at any given time. They are both small in stature but tough as nails for their size. Thomas is a weapon both as a runner and receiver and would be a dynamite return man if need be. The future is bright for this freshman sensation. Ran the fastest high school 200 meter time in the nation last year. This kid can fly!
Dave Razzano is a former NFL scout with more than 22 years of professional scouting experience with the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals under NFL coaches Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Chuck Knox and Dick Vermeil. He's been a part of five Super Bowls with three Super Bowl wins (49ers, 1989, 1990; Rams, 2000).
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