INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Thomas was on display on Wednesday, and he looked and sounded every bit like the multi-million dollar first-round NFL draft pick he soon will be.
The former Georgia All-American offensive tackle and team captain represented himself in the most professional of ways in his podium interview at the Indianapolis Convention Center on Wednesday.
Thomas is the sort intellectual, authentic and charismatic team leader every general manager could envision in his locker room.
But when push comes to shove — and at offensive tackle, it’s all about pushing and shoving — on-field performance is the bottom line.
Thomas is ready to show what he’s got when the offensive linemen do their running, lifting, jumping and testing on Thursday an Friday.
“Goals?” Thomas asked rhetorically. “I’d say around 30-32 (inches) on the vertical (jump), broad jump, 9-5, trying to get 5-flat, 4.9 (-second) in the 40, bench press around 25 reps (of 225 pounds).”
That would be a pretty solid workout, and knowing Thomas, he wouldn’t be throwing those numbers out there if he didn’t have an idea he could accomplish them.
As far as on the field, there’s an old saying that “the film don’t lie.”
“I think I’m all-around the best,” said Thomas, who is jockeying with four other offensive tackles for first-round draft stock superiority.
“I can run block, I can pass block, I’m coachable, and I’m a technician. So I think that makes me the best.”
And then there’s his presentation and personality.
Entertaining? You bet, and in more ways than one.
Thomas, from Atlanta’s Pace Academy, said he enjoys sharing tales of his musical talents with NFL teams during his interviews.
“At my high school I would be at the pep rally, I would be playing in the band, then put my jersey on and go over to the football team and do the football thing,” said Thomas, who grew up in a musically inclined family playing the drums at church.
In college, Thomas said, he picked up playing the piano and had one he used to play on while training for the NFL combine in Pensacola, Fla.
Among the many songs Thomas can play, he said, is John Legend’s “All of Me.”
Appropriately enough, that’s what Thomas said he will give whatever NFL team that drafts him.
Thomas has already met with the New York Jets and has formal interviews ahead with the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Bucs.
“I want to be the best,” Thomas said. “I work hard every day to be best. Why be doing this if you don’t want to be the best?”
Thomas’ approach and attitude is indeed music to the ears of NFL teams.
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