Fantasy Football

Brian Thomas Jr Fantasy Forecast 2024

Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas Jr Fantasy Forecast 2024

Brian Thomas’ athletic talents have been apparent since he was a young boy. He primarily played basketball for AAU teams, and in his freshman year of high school, Thomas helped his Walker High (Louisiana) team to a state title, earning MVP honors along the way. Even though he played football in his youth, it wasn’t until his sophomore year that he gave football a serious try. In his first high school game he put in a Randy Moss-like performance with 278 yards and 3 TDs on 4 catches. Thomas also brought his school back to the basketball title game during his sophomore campaign, and despite receiving collegiate attention for basketball, Thomas elected to stick just to football.

Recruiting and Collegiate Background

Texas A&M offered Brian Thomas a scholarship for basketball when he was a freshman. Thomas has openly stated that football is his passion, and thus, many schools lined up for his services, including Texas A&M, who offered him a football scholarship as well. Ultimately Thomas elected to stay close to home with LSU, who actually offered Thomas a football scholarship before he ever played a snap of high school football. In June of 2018, Thomas spent some time working out at an LSU camp, and apparently that was enough for them to warrant the offer.

His statistics from his freshman and sophomore years of college do not really jump of the page. However, there was some notable improvement from year 1 to year 2 after Jayden Daniels arrived. Thomas’ stats from his junior season, 68 grabs, 1177 yards and 17 TDs do jump off the page though.

Rookie Odds

Brian Thomas is currently +2500 to win rookie of the year. While the number is enticing, I’m not sure Thomas is in the right situation to beat out the likes of Harrison, Nabers, or any of the top QBs taken with the early picks.

Statistical and Athletic Notes

Below are the notes I made for Brian Thomas before this year’s draft:

  • Accomplished athlete, New Orleans state basketball champion
  • Received collegiate offers for basketball as well
  • 4 star recruit
  • Combination of size and speed are NFL ready
  • Minimal delay going from catch to run…impressive for size
  • Has a solid post up move, likely due to basketball prowess
  • Exceptional stutter step and release
  • Excellent combine
  • Tops of routes need work
  • Blocks well but takes some plays off
  • Route tree will need to expand at NFL level
  • Will likely need to add a few lbs
  • Should he be able to handle NFL toughness from dbacks, he could be a nightmare for defenses

 

Landing Spot

Brian Thomas Jr was taken 23rd overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars at the 2024 NFL Draft. He was the 4th WR off the board.

The Good

Thomas is already NFL ready when it comes to his speed, stutter steps, and physicality with defensive backs. At his year’s combine he tested as the 10th most athletic WR out of 3063 tested from 1987 to 2024. Thomas tracks the deep ball exceptionally well. He has also landed on a team that likes to throw the football. The Jaguars no longer have Calvin Ridley nor Zay Jones, so there are spots that need to be filled.

The Bad

Even though Thomas had a fantastic 2023 with LSU, many note the presence of Malik Nabers as being a reason why Thomas received less attention. Also, Thomas’ role was arguably one dimensional as his job was to be a deep threat. He simply won’t be able to be a consistent fantasy asset unless he further develops his route tree. The Jaguars signed another deep threat in Gabe Davis, so Thomas is going to have to compete with him for looks.

2023 Redraft Fantasy Outlook

As of this writing, Brian Thomas is going off the board around pick 118, the end of round 10/beginning of round 11. That’s not for me I don’t think. Known commodities such as Curtis Samuel, Tyler Lockett, and Romeo Doubs are guys I would rather go with, especially Samuel with no Davis nor Diggs in Buffalo anymore. Chase Brown and Blake Corum might also be available then. Heck, even Gus Edwards, with the run-heavy Chargers, might be considered at that point. There are too many questions marks with both Thomas and the Jaguars for me to take a risk at that stage of the draft. If he falls another round or few, then maybe I would go after him. Gabe Davis was jettisoned from Buffalo for a reason, if he can’t get his career back on track rather quickly, then Thomas does have a clear path to WR2 on this team.

Dynasty Outlook

I’m more open to the idea of going after Thomas in dynasty. Gabe Davis couldn’t keep it together with one of the best QBs in all of football, and Trevor Lawrence is a downgrade from Josh Allen. By this time next year we could be talking about Thomas being the WR2 for the Jaguars and a solid WR3 for your fantasy team. It’s a risk though. Thomas does have areas in his game that he will need to improve. NFL caliber defenses will not let him get over the top of them on a consistent basis. Thomas’ athletic prowess, natural abilities, and his post-up basketball experience should not be ignored.

Bold Prediction

Thomas will eventually beat out Gabe Davis for more snaps and targets but not toward the end of the season.

Fun Fact

According to Relative Athletic Score and MockDrafttable, and given that both played at LSU, Brian Thomas profiles eerily similar to former Jaguar DJ Chark.

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