Phillip Thomas’ itinerary indicates but one thing for the Fresno State All-America safety — he’s wanted.
And, five weeks prior to the NFL draft, what greater feeling for a college prospect?
Projected by many as a second-round selection in the April 25-27 draft at New York, Thomas is flying to Carolina on Thursday for a meeting with Panthers coaches and management.
Then to Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Pittsburgh — and likely more.
“Quite a few,” he said Wednesday after an encouraging running performance during Pro Day at Bulldog Stadium.
Generally, 35-year NFL scout Phil Neri of the Tennessee Titans said, Pro Day auditions are geared more toward late-round draft picks or free agents — mostly for players hoping for a mere tryout following the draft.
But occasionally, Neri said, “filling in” a certain number can boost the stock of an elite player as well.
Thomas would like to think that applied to him Wednesday, when he timed two 40-yard dashes in the low 4.5-second range after clocking a “pretty average” 4.65 in the February’s NFL Scouting Combine at Indianapolis.
“I feel like I had a good day today,” the 6-0 1/2-inch, 213-pounder from Bakersfield said Wednesday after also running shuttle and triple-cone drills. “I had solid numbers for a safety.”
Besides his scheduled meetings — which, per NFL rules, will not include workouts — he said he’ll return to Bulldog Stadium soon for private workouts with Atlanta and Philadelphia.
Thomas said he’s confident he’s a “solid second-rounder.”
“But, who knows?” he said. “I could jump into the first round or fall into the third.”