Talk about stolen thunder.
The Denver Broncos traded up with the New England Patriots and made Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas the 22nd overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, but that storyline was then buried under the massive publicity that the selection of Tim Tebow received.
While Tebow is undoubtedly the most popular player in this draft, Thomas was the Broncos' first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and they chose him over any wide receiver in this class.
In fact, Thomas was the first wide receiver selected in the 2010 NFL Draft, ahead of big names like Dez Bryant and Golden Tate.
In addition to being the first receiver selected, Thomas was also the first Denver Broncos draft pick I have ever actually witnessed walking to the commissioner at the podium live. What a moment for that young man.
What Thomas was able to accomplish at Georgia Tech is simply remarkable, and while the Broncos certainly hid their interest in the big play receiver, they definitely got one of the best playmakers in this year's draft.
Josh Mcdaniels said Thomas reminds him a lot of Brandon Marshall, though I think Thomas is far more talented than Marshall (obviously not presently, but his ceiling is higher).
Thomas stands at 6'3" 229 pounds, has great speed for his size, and has gigantic 10 1/2 inch hands.
You can spout off all of Thomas' collegiate statistics, like his 2009 campaign which featured 46 catches for 1,154 yards and eight touchdowns. One might see that on the surface and think those numbers are pretty shallow for a first round receiver, considering the numbers Bryant and Tate have accumulated in their careers, but not when you consider this one major factor.
At Georgia Tech, Thomas was part of one of the nation's most dominant rushing offenses, one that averaged well over 300 yards per contest. What does that have to do with the newest Broncos' receiver?
Williams was able to accumulate over 1,100 yards and average over 25 yards per reception in an offense that rarely threw the ball. In fact, in their bowl game against Iowa, I would be willing to bet that Georgia Tech threw the ball 12 times or less, or at least it seemed like it.
Thomas has been painted as a guy who is very raw as a route runner, and that may be true based on lack of pure experience, but Thomas thinks he is just fine in that area, and is fine with the comparisons to Brandon Marshall.
"We're both big guys and probably have the same speed; I hope to be as successful as Brandon Marshall," Thomas said. "I make plays. I know how to run routes. I think I'll be fine."
In addition to his playmaking ability, Josh McDaniels raved about Thomas' work ethic, and he is touted as a high character player.
Thomas certainly has big shoes to fill after the departure of Marshall, and the Broncos may not be done adding weapons to their wide receiver group. Denver worked out more than ten other receiver prospects who fit right in the range of where they will be picking tomorrow, at pick #45.
So while Tebow will steal all of the headlines, know the Broncos got a fine player with their first selection in the 2010 draft, one who will bring exciting playmaking skills just like one Brandon Marshall did.