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Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas enters NFL draft

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio - Wisconsin v Oregon Getty Images

In a surprising announcement, Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas said Saturday that he will leave school early to enter the NFL draft.

“I came to this decision on behalf of myself and my family,” Thomas said. “I have a dream of playing in the NFL and I’m going to pursue those dreams.”

Thomas told ESPN’s Joe Schad, “I saw what Cam Newton did this year. He took his raw talent and made a spark. I can do those things, too.”

Thomas, however, isn’t nearly the pro prospect that Newton was coming out of Auburn a year ago. Newton accomplished more than Thomas in college, winning the Heisman Trophy and the national championship while putting up better numbers in 2010 than Thomas did in 2011, both running and passing.

Still, just because Thomas isn’t as good as Newton, that doesn’t mean he’s not capable of being an NFL quarterback. Thomas threw for 2,761 yards and 33 touchdowns with only seven interceptions in his final college season, and he’s a talented athlete. He’ll have three months worth of workouts to show scouts that he’s ready for the NFL now, without another season of polishing his skills in college.

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28 Responses to “Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas enters NFL draft”
  1. rambo08 says: Jan 15, 2012 8:22 AM

    Not a good decision.

  2. tomsd1 says: Jan 15, 2012 8:33 AM

    So what do the “draft experts” say about his prospects/round he will get drafted?

  3. supremeomega says: Jan 15, 2012 8:40 AM

    Would be a good 6-7 round project QB. Has the size and athleticism but really won’t be ready to play for 3-4 years if at all.

    I think guys like Thomas Pryor along with RG3 Tebow and Cam are a paradigm shift at the position. A great drop back passer like Rodgers or Brady will always be ideal. But for these teams that have bad QBs like Sanchez Kolb Gabbert McCoy Grossman…it may be better to have a guy like this and run a college style offense. Denver got hammered last night but they were on their way to a 3-13 season before inserting Tebow. If you dont have a true franchise QB its a better way IMO.

    One day Chip Kelly or Urban Meyer will coach in the NFL and go all in with the spread option and draft accordingly…It probably won’t win a SB but I bet that that team will be a playoff team

  4. neilpountney says: Jan 15, 2012 9:23 AM

    Maybe if the Broncos are going to keep on with this kind of offense he would make a good choice to back up or complement Tim Tebow?

    I doubt he will ever be a successful NFL type QB.

  5. gomta says: Jan 15, 2012 9:33 AM

    Pat White 2.0

  6. wutliss07 says: Jan 15, 2012 9:34 AM

    HUGE mistake….

  7. willjasper says: Jan 15, 2012 9:38 AM

    He’ll go to the Broncos in the sixth or seventh round.

  8. drewbo22 says: Jan 15, 2012 10:02 AM

    Why is it a huge mistake…Him and Tebow are the same players. Tebow was given a chance to play qb and to run his HS offense to boot. From what I have seem from Thomas he is a better passer than Tebow….

  9. Maximus Decimus Meridius says: Jan 15, 2012 10:07 AM

    He will not be drafted….welcome to the AFL or CFL

  10. wutliss07 says: Jan 15, 2012 10:38 AM

    Why is it a huge mistake…Him and Tebow are the same players…

    yeah, that’s really working out well for Tebow…

    DO NOT give me a rant about winning and being 8-4 or whatever… there are 52 other players on that team making those wins happen too…

    how you you analyze? – look at the stats – worst QB in the league right now…

  11. kowboydmac says: Jan 15, 2012 10:46 AM

    Same school that produced Dennis Dixon. Same kinda athlete.

    Might be a 3rd-4th rounder to a team with an established QB, and he’ll collect a paycheck playing backup on a potential playoff team.

    Not really sure he could have improved his stock much more anyway, but I do think he should have stayed another year.

    Oh well, good luck Thomas.

  12. samoanjungle says: Jan 15, 2012 10:50 AM

    I think if you throw 33 TDs to only 7 Int’s, unless he has some major flaw, he will get drafted.

  13. mwcarolina says: Jan 15, 2012 10:50 AM

    it takes one team, maybe Washington trades down and takes a flier on him in round 2???

  14. akhter02 says: Jan 15, 2012 10:52 AM

    The fact that both Barkely and Landry Jones won’t enter the draft might have influenced his decision. I would say it is a good decision for him. He is a good athlete and clutch player. I won’t be surprised if Broncos, Redskins, or Dolphins draft him in the 3rd or 4th rounds. He might as well be drafted to be groomed under a veteran QB by teams like Bears (Hanie turning into a disaster), Steelers, Packers (as Flynn will be gone), or Falcons. Jets might draft him as well because McElroy will be cut after his whistle-blowing.

  15. cornersportsnet says: Jan 15, 2012 10:55 AM

    Rookie free agent practice squad member ,may pan out later for him should of stayed in school unless he has his degree

  16. eigglesnosuperbowls says: Jan 15, 2012 11:23 AM

    No one cares !

  17. realitypolice says: Jan 15, 2012 11:28 AM

    He’s leaving because he knows he was going to lose the starting QB job next year.

    A lot of people thought Bryan Bennett was already better than him.

    Well the good news is that he’ll have his pick of teams because he certainly isn’t getting drafted.

    He’s got his degree, which is nice, because I have a feeling he’s going to need it.

  18. buckybadger says: Jan 15, 2012 11:28 AM

    Best of luck but you aren’t Cam Newton, not even close. Haven’t watched him play enough to say he can’t play but from what I have seen Dennis Dixon looked better.

  19. oreo51 says: Jan 15, 2012 11:53 AM

    Akili Smith 2.0.

    The problem is with the offense he comes from. Running the spread/option attack creates great looking stats but the QB has no experience reading defenses or going through the progressions. His only choice is to throw to his primary receiver or pull it down and run. The QB’s get the benefit of the YAC using the bubble screen most of the time. He may get drafted in the 5th round but he will never start an NFL game.

  20. camssportsjam says: Jan 15, 2012 12:13 PM

    could he be leaving the school because of NCAA sanctions we havent heard of yet?

  21. slyordie says: Jan 15, 2012 12:17 PM

    Bad decision. This guy has a big wind up and slow delivery. A poor man’s Dennis Dixon. At least if he stayed in college he had a chance at a national championship. I hope he at least got his degree.

  22. erlynx says: Jan 15, 2012 12:52 PM

    Second string in the nfl at very best. Worth a 4th round pick at most. He will fail then go to the ufl.

  23. amg503 says: Jan 15, 2012 2:09 PM

    Thomas has his degree. There’s been a lot of local discussion about this, and all the media/analysts say it’s really the best time to do it; best personal decision he can make.

    Good luck, DT! Win The Day!

  24. tradeassociation says: Jan 15, 2012 2:12 PM

    First of all, he has his degree.
    Second of all, the Akili Smith comparison is idiotic. The only thing that Thomas has in common with Smith is his race. Oregon ran an NFL, pro-style offense with Smith. Jeff Tedford was his offensive coordinator. Oregon didn’t switch to a spread offense until 2005, and didn’t go to the spread option until 2007. But hey, all black QBs are the same, right? Just like folks who compared Cam Newton to JaMarcus Russell, and to this day insist that Russell was a running-option QB, and do the same about Robert Griffin III this year and Charlie Ward back in the day.
    Third, Thomas wasn’t going to improve his stock playing another year anyway. His stock might have improved SLIGHTLY, but there will be far more good QBs in next year’s draft. This year, after Luck and RG3, the next highest rated passer is a guy who was playing wide receiver halfway through the 2010 season, and went 7-6 in 2011 (Ryan Tannehill). Even if he doesn’t get drafted, again the guy has his degree, which means that even if he doesn’t get drafted, he will soon thereafter be working in some office making more money than most of the people claiming that he should be getting battered running Oregon’s spread option for free. Any way you slice it, it is a good move for Thomas, and college football will have no problem replacing him with more meat for its grinder.

  25. laserw says: Jan 15, 2012 3:03 PM

    These guys who get scholarships for College should be bound to fulfill their minimum of four years at the school. Or, they should be compelled to sit out a year if they decide to chuck their schooling out the window. There is simply no excuse for an athlete to be given a gift of a college education and then to throw it away without a significant penalty. These selfish young prospects have no right to play in the NFL and I hope each of these fail and pay a dear price for their short-term greed. While there is a risk that these greedy jerks could be hurt during their final year in college, these jerks don’t deserve any consideration in the draft. In fact, I’d contend that any college player who doesn’t graduate from his institution while getting a free ride there should be automatically placed in the last round of the draft after the ban from the draft for a year. There needs to be a significant price for leaving school early. In this way, staying in school and then entering the draft through usual means will likely have you receive a higher pick (and salary) than if you left early – and that is the way it should be.

    And no – no – no – no – “financial” hardship exception. Get a job like the rest of us if you are so bad off.

  26. oregonbear says: Jan 15, 2012 3:45 PM

    laserw says:
    Jan 15, 2012 3:03 PM
    These guys who get scholarships for College should be bound to fulfill their minimum of four years at the school…..
    ___________________________________

    Excuse me but DT spent four years at OU and earned his degree in Business. He helped the Ducks make it to a National Championship and two Rose Bowls. Though I personally would have liked him to stay he felt it was time to take on a new challenge. If you had read some of the earlier posts you would have known this. Check you facts before go off next time.

    Good luck DT!

  27. gmen1987 says: Jan 16, 2012 1:23 PM

    Darron Thomas = Future CFL QB.

  28. gmen1987 says: Jan 16, 2012 1:29 PM

    The principal reason he left was that he was in danger of losing his job to the backup Brian Bennett.

    Appears that Thomas has lots of fangirls who think he will make a good pro prospect.

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