Photo via LSU Athletics

PRO 2024 Rookie Spotlight: Brian Thomas, WR LSU

Rookie Spotlight: Brian Thomas, LSU

Height: 6-4″ (unofficial)
Weight: 205 (unofficial)
2024 Age: 22 – (10/8/02)
40-yard dash: 4.46 (projected)

NFL Play-Style Comparison: Justin Hunter
Draft Grade: 2nd Round
Breakout Age: 21 (Junior)


Offensive Market Share Metrics (Final Season)

Receptions: 24%
Receiving Yards: 27%
Receiving TDs: 39%

High School: Walker (Walker, Louisiana)
As a high school prospect: Class of 2021; 4-star
College Attended: LSU



– Separates at the catch point with late hands and contortion-ability

– Ability to put his foot in the ground, turn upfield, and pull away from defenders with the angle.

– long-strider, gets faster with distance and separates with ease when EVEN with defenders

– top-end hand-eye coordination and ball tracking, able to adjust and find batted or underthrown throws.

– manipulator early in route concepts



– Sometimes idle in attacking passes between the twenties

– lacks quick-twitch, but it is not his game

– limited route tree, with the majority of work and success deep downfield

– rarely pressed with physicality in College, defenders respected his speed weekly



Scouting Notes:
Brian Thomas Jr. grew up just 25 minutes from the LSU campus in Walker, Louisiana, during his varsity debut as a sophomore, he reeled in 4 passes for 278 yards and 3 touchdowns – the rest is history after earning a 4-star rating from all major recruiting services and being ranked the no. 4 player in the state of Louisiana. During the first two seasons at LSU, Thomas accounted for 359 and 361 yards, good for 5th on the team in the respective seasons, behind Malik Nabers, Kayshon Boutte, Jaray Jenkins, Mason Taylor, and Jack Bech. Insert Jayden Daniels and Head Coach Brian Kelly in 2022, that season Thomas’ aDOT dropped from 11.4 to 10.0 and his utilization stayed the same as it did before Kelly and Daniels arrival. 2023 was a new season, with Malik Nabers as the incumbent alpha in Baton Rouge and arguably the 2nd best receiver in college football, Thomas saw his utilization pop, his aDOT jumped 3.9 yards per target, his average yards per reception jumped from 11.6 to 17.3 and he finished with 9 more receptions that he had the previous two seasons combined. Thomas’ speed off of the line of scrimmage caused headaches for opposing defensive coordinators, regardless of alignment or talent(McKinstry/Arnold) – he creates quick separation and gets even or leaves defenders on downfield routes. Despite his ability to win often downfield (10 of 17 touchdowns were 25+ yards downfield), he struggles with concentration drops at times in the shallow areas, while not pressing defenders downfield Thomas’ motor tends to run idle while working to get open. In a potent offense, willing to push the football and gameplan around him – Thomas has the upside to become a lethal number 2 early on during his rookie campaign, but if he is attached to a balanced, uninspired offense his abilities could be restricted for some time.

Fantasy Outlook:
Thomas has the dynamic ability downfield to land a similar rookie season as Christian Watson did in 2022, finishing as the WR41 in PPR formats while gifting fantasy gamers with six 10+ point games down the stretch of the season. Similarly to Watson, and Martavis Bryant, Brian Thomas brings a very volatile play style to the fantasy football community, that can contribute to league-winning games or nuke your lineup any given week.

Cody Carpentier

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