Inside Slant: Logan Thomas opens eyes

Last week we rolled through a handful of so-called "second-tier" quarterbacks who would be on the combine radar of NFL teams who either (A) don't have a pick at the top of the first round or (B) don't like the top of the class. I think it's fair to say that scouts left Sunday's workouts with at least one of those names, Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas, on the tip of their tongues.

Combine testing helps develop a physical blueprint for each player, one that is parallel to the skills needed in actual games but still considered valuable by many talent evaluators. Our scout, ESPN's Steve Muench, accurately predicted last week that Thomas would draw some wows and spur interest from teams that have time to develop him from scratch.

Over the weekend, Thomas proved to be the biggest and fastest quarterback in this class. He measured 6-foot-6 and 248 pounds while running the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds (faster than the more heralded Johnny Manziel).

According to the NFL's website, Thomas' times in the three-cone drill (7.05 seconds) and the 20-yard shuttle (4.18 seconds) were also the best among quarterbacks, as were his 35.5-inch vertical jump and his 118-inch broad jump. Finally, his hands measured at 10 7/8 inches, a tremendous size for quarterbacks and one that helps scouts project potential for skills such as ball security, accuracy and play-action.

Thomas' test numbers would be eye-opening for a tight end, let alone a quarterback, so it's reasonable to think that a team will find a way to get him on the field in some capacity. Of course, NFL history is littered with failures to draw quality quarterback play from the kind of elite physical specimens that Thomas proved to be over the weekend. Anyone who watched him play at Virginia Tech knows he has plenty of work to do.

But a team with quality quarterback coaching, a stable front office and a flexible system will be tempted to draft Thomas and see where it can get him over the course of a few seasons. If nothing else, plenty of people will leave the combine this week with his name in mind.