Miami Grabs OT Dallas Thomas In Third Round

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Imposing lineman faced top competition at Tennessee in the SEC.

Offensive line help is not easy to find, so the Miami Dolphins took a shot with their first of two third round picks by selecting Tennessee’s Dallas Thomas with the 77th overall pick.

Standing at 6-foot-5 and 308 pounds, Thomas has played both tackle positions and worked at guard as a senior for the Volunteers after playing left tackle as a junior. He earned second-team All-SEC honors and started his last 37 consecutive games.

“I was always interested in playing guard because we always had a little competition with the guys over could a tackle play guard,” Thomas said. “The guards would get mad saying it’s not as easy as you think it is but it was nothing. It’s my dream to start and I hope to get in and compete and go from there.”

Thomas redshirted as a freshman and has shown off his versatility throughout his career. He faced some of the toughest competition in the nation defensively in the Southeastern Conference and does not shy away from challenges.

His addition adds depth to a young offensive line and will breed competition at the guard and tackle positions, particularly on the left side of the line.

“We watched him on film in 2011 and 2012 and obviously this year he played primarily at the left guard and the year before at left tackle,” said Philbin, whose background is as an offensive line coach. “We like his versatility, we liked his athleticism, we thought he had a pretty good technique and I think he has a bright future. He’s a fluid athlete, we like his size and thought he was well coached at Tennessee. We’re going to start him on the left side, I’m not sure where yet as we’ve got to see how the weekend unfold but I’m excited about him.”

Ireland, Philbin and some of the other coaches got to know Thomas a little better both at the Senior Bowl and the Combine, but he was unable to make it down to South Florida for an official visit. He is confident in his ability to fit into any type of scheme after facing some of the best defensive players in college football.

“It’s going to help a little bit, but I know going into the league, it’s just a whole other ball game,” Thomas said. “So I’ve just got to get in, learn and go from there.”

Philbin acknowledged that he did pay close attention to game film against the likes of South Carolina, LSU, Florida and Georgia to see how he performed against different fronts and schemes. Clearly, he and Ireland liked what they saw.

There was plenty of Thomas’ attributes that really stood out to Ireland while watching those tapes and he recognized how good of a fit he would be with the Dolphins.

“I love the versatility and in certain games he can play guard or tackle,” Ireland said. “Obviously, when you see a big guy that can pull and move his feet and play guard and tackle on the left side, that’s pretty unique so the versatility was one key component.”
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