Marcus Thomas has been a force since his true freshman season along the Gator front. That season, he had a career high 47 tackles, 3.5 of them for loss, with 1.5 sacks, earning Freshman All American honors. As a sophomore, he finished the year with 39 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and 4.5 sacks. Thomas again came through as a junior, finishing with 45 tackles, a career high 10.5 of them for loss, and four sacks on the season. Thomas was off to a fast start in 2006 with 26 tackles, 5.5 for loss, and four sacks in five games, but was dismissed from the program for violating team rules.
Thomas is an impact interior lineman. He is the player you always look to neutralize first when game planning against the Gator line. He has a quick burst off the line of scrimmage to gain the initial step on the lineman. Once moving forward, his combination of strength, agility, and determination make him hard to stop. Thomas is very good at getting into the backfield and disrupting the play, but also has the strength to hold his ground at the point of attack and plug running lanes.
The biggest issue with Thomas is keeping an eye on what he does off the field. He was suspended for the opener for violating the teams substance abuse policy. He then tested positive again, and failed to follow the guidelines needed to remain eligible, so he was dismissed from the program. His dedication is definitely in question. Thomas also tends to rely on his physical ability too often. He’ll stand upright at times off the snap, expecting to beat his man on talent alone.
Marcus Thomas has the talent to be one of the first defensive tackles selected in April. His dismissal from Florida, and with the harsh punishments dealt to PacMan Jones and Chris Henry will cause teams to think even longer about taking character risks in the draft. Thomas could go anywhere from the third to the fifth round, depending on who is willing to take the gamble.