The guy drafted before Tim Tebow in the 2010 draft doesn’t get nearly as much attention as No. 15 himself.
Demaryius Thomas was taken three spots ahead of Tebow, yet not many in the crowd look down at their watches and declare it “Thomas Time.”
Thomas has struggled with injuries since becoming a Bronco. He missed six games in his rookie year and he’s missed 6 games this year. He tore his Achilles in the off season, so his off season plans were more about rehabbing than improving his position skill set.
The 6’3″, 235 lb. receiver out of Georgia Tech was supposed to be the second coming of Brandon Marshall. He has the size, strength, and hands, but it was his feet that delayed his progression in the NFL.
Finally, on a day that Tim Tebow and the Broncos needed him most, Thomas stood up and stood out.
He had four catches for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Broncos 35-32 win over the Vikings. Talk about yards after the catch, Thomas is as tough a receiver to bring down as anybody.
“DT stepped up and made so many huge plays,” Tebow said after the game. “That only comes because they’re eyeing (Eric) Decker a little bit more so it frees up another guy. That’s what it’s all about on our team is helping the guy next to you. One game or another, you’re going to get your opportunity…It’s fun to see him (Thomas) have that kind of success.”
Eric Decker returned to his hometown (played at Minnesota) with the hopes of having a bigger day than 2 catches for 25 yards. He has been a guy who all year, other teams have had to game plan for. Perhaps that’s why Thomas was very open on multiple plays. The Vikes were so worried about Decker.
The play that sparked the Broncos offensively came in the second half when Tebow scrambled over to the sideline and found Thomas for the team’s first offensive points of the day.
“I was looking everywhere trying to find a receiver,” Tebow said. “I knew Jared Allen was right back to my left and No. 50 was right to my right.”
That’s when Tebow let one rip to Thomas for a 21-yard touchdown. Tebow hit the ground over near the sidelines and didn’t even realize that Thomas caught the ball and bounded his way into the end zone.
Thomas was far from done. He had another score in the third quarter when Tebow found him for a 41-yard pass play. Again, he utilized his size and strength to punch it in after the catch.
Then the Tebow-to-Thomas connection was there again when Thomas caught a 40-yard pass in the fourth quarter which set up a Matt Prater field goal to tie the game at 32 apiece with 1:33 left.
It was good to see Thomas finally emerge from the bowls of the Broncos training room. We’ve waited patiently for the team’s first draft pick in ’10 to show what he’s capable of.
Hopefully the Tebow to Thomas train can stay on track and the passing game can continue to progress.