By Nick Shook
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A product of Virginia Tech, Thomas saw his most significant professional playing time as an Arizona Cardinal, appearing in two games and attempting just nine passes. His lone career completion was an 81-yard touchdown pass to Andre Ellington in a 41-20 loss to Denver in 2014. Safe to say, quarterback wasn’t exactly in the cards for Thomas.
The position switch isn’t the first of its kind. Terrelle Pryor went from quarterback to wide receiver, and posted a 1,000-yard receiving season in 2016. A closer comparison would be Dolphins tight end MarQueis Gray, who played quarterback at the University of Minnesota and switched to an H-back/tight end role upon entering the league as an undrafted free agent. Gray also played tight end with the Bills between the end of 2014 and first half of 2015.
The two are also comparable in size, with Gray listed at 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, and Thomas at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds. Both are athletic and were bigger quarterbacks who could move, though it’s unknown how well Thomas can catch the ball (to his credit, he caught two passes for 11 yards and a touchdown in his career at Virginia Tech, where he also once backed up current Bills starter Tyrod Taylor). It sounds as though the former Hokie is doing well with the mental transition, at least.
“I had to learn a completely different set of ideals, a completely different verbiage, but it’s going very smoothly,” Thomas said, via the team’s site. “Thankfully going from quarterback to tight end is a lot easier than going from tight end to quarterback.”
Buffalo is installing a new offense with the arrival of coordinator Rick Dennison, so it’s not like Thomas is behind in learning the system.