Cowboys rookie minicamp: OL Nathan Thomas ready to show versatility

The Dallas Cowboys were expected to double dip on the offensive line with voids at left tackle and center due to the departures of Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz. They would fill these holes in the first and third rounds with Tyler Guyton and Cooper Beebe. However, the Cowboys decided to triple down on the line and took tackle Nathan Thomas in the seventh round.

Thomas can be looked at as a value selection, considering some had him as high as the fifth round. He comes with nearly 1,800 snaps of experience on the collegiate level as a tackle. Per Pro Footbal Focus, Thomas had the highest run blocking grade among tackles in gap scheme concepts, so he’s well equipped on single blocks. However, seeing that he lacks some lateral movement and needs to he better in pass blocking, his 6’5 and 332-pound frame will likely translate to guard in the NFL.

Being versatile is something Thomas talked about as he arrived at rookie minicamp on Thursday.

“I’ve been only at tackle, mostly left tackle in my career. I think that being able to play multiple positions is great,” said Thomas. “I think that what makes me different is that I think I can play multiple positions at a high level and on a consistent basis.”

Thomas is a mauler with huge hands, and once he gets his mittens on a defender, it’s usually all she wrote. Seeing as playing on the interior is where Thomas will cut his teeth, he has the ultimate mentor in that aspect with nine-time All-Pro Zack Martin to learn from. Also, he can pick the brain of Tyler Smith, who is coming off an All-Pro campaign in his second year.

Dallas has built a reputation for grooming offensive lineman over the last decade. That’s been mainly with high draft picks, but with the ceiling that Thomas has the potential to reach, he has a chance to be molded into a quality NFL offensive lineman, much like starting right tackle Terence Steele did as an undrafted free agent.

Thomas spoke on what he’s looking to accomplish this weekend as he signs his rookie deal and gets on the field for the first time.

The biggest goal is just to get in a routine, I guess. Still learn the plays, learn the coaches, and also learn the teammates that I’m here with, all the rookies and stuff.

It won’t likely show immediately, but Thomas has a shot to be a good long-term investment.


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