DQ Thomas, New York Jets, UDFA
DQ Thomas, New York Jets, Getty Images

DQ Thomas is hoping to make the New York Jets’ roster via a thin linebacker unit

Heading into the 2022 NFL draft, it seemed like there was a good chance the New York Jets would draft a linebacker at some point. The position group was one of the bigger concerns on the roster heading into the offseason.

Ultimately, the Jets mortgaged two of their draft picks in trades and ended up not selecting a linebacker at any point. Though, shortly after the draft, the Jets signed linebacker DQ Thomas from Middle Tennessee State as an undrafted free agent.

Here are some of the most important things for Jets fans to know about Thomas.

College production

Thomas comes to the Jets with a ton of playing experience in college. He was at Middle Tennessee State for five years (2017-21) and played in 60 games.

Thomas finished his college run with 309 total tackles (career-best of 88 in 2021), 53 tackles for loss (career-best of 17 in 2021), 20.5 sacks (career-best of eight in 2018), two interceptions (which were both in 2021), seven passes defended, and eight forced fumbles.

He was voted a permanent team captain and second-team All-Conference-USA in his fifth year at Middle Tennessee State.

Physical measurables and athletic testing

For a linebacker, Thomas comes in on the smaller size at 6-foot-1 and 226 pounds.

Athletically, Thomas tested very well with an 8.46 Relative Athletic Score (RAS). Thomas showed great speed with a 1.58 10-yard split, 2.69 20-yard split, and a 4.67 40-yard dash time.

He was also very good when it came to both explosion and agility. His broad jump was great at 121″ and he had a good vertical of 35″. Both of his agility scores were above average as well with a solid 4.27 20-yard shuttle and a 3-cone time of 7.15.

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Skill set

What’s exciting about Thomas is that he offers all of the traits of a modern-day NFL linebacker. He plays up to his athletic score on the football field.

Thomas offers the ability to play in coverage effectively. His speed is one of his top skills as he can cover a lot of ground. Even for a smaller linebacker, Thomas plays competitively against the run and can contribute. He can also get into the backfield with his speed and quickness as both a pass rusher and stopping the run.

Final thoughts

As stated previously, Thomas brings a lot of experience as a 23-year-old rookie.

The Jets gave Thomas a significant amount of guarantees in his contract for an undrafted free agent ($130,000). This may mean something, as the Jets gave a hefty guaranteed amount to cornerback Isaiah Dunn a year ago as an undrafted free agent and he ended up making the roster, appearing in 12 games. It is fair to say that the Jets liked Thomas as a prospect.

C.J. Mosley is the clear-cut leader of the Jets’ linebacker group. For the rest of the position group, opportunities are there for the taking, which helps Thomas.

If Thomas can prove himself on special teams it would boost his chances of making the Jets’ final roster.

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Ryan Moran is a writer for Jets X-Factor providing in-depth analysis on all things related to the team. Email: ryan.moran310[at]gmail.com
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1 year ago

A lot experience playing LB, strong instincts, and a good athletic profile. Hot take – he makes this team…

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 year ago

We could use a couple of nice surprises at LB