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January 15, 2013

Should LT Stay Or Go?

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At 4 p.m. today, junior quarterback Logan Thomas will make the biggest decision of his life via a press release. Will the hiring of offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler have an influence on Thomas staying one more year, or has his mind already been made up?

We take a took at the pros and cons of each decision as it relates to certain topics.

Chooses to stay at Virginia Tech

Draft Status

Pros: We have no idea what the NFL Draft Advisory Board sent to Thomas, but it's hard to imagine he received a straight up first-round projection from the board. If that was the case, he'd be gone already. If he chose to stay for his senior campaign, it's more than likely that Thomas would be a sure-fire first-round pick, if not a top pick.

Cons: USC quarterback Matt Barkley is a perfect example of how things can go sour due to an extra year in college. After his junior year, it was said that Barkley was a definite first-round selection (behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III). Barkley chose to stay and was regarded as the consensus No. 1 overall pick for the 2013 draft. He'll be lucky if he gets taken in the first-round this time around after a sub-par season. A serious injury in this scenario is also possible.

Financially

Pros: It's pretty simple- if Thomas decides to leave for the NFL- he will receive a sizable paycheck just on the fact that he's a quarterback. (In a new era that saw Griffin, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick dominate the league this year, I don't think anyone is thinking of moving Thomas to tight end) However, that paycheck is unlikely to be that expensive. If Thomas stayed one more year, it could easily add millions of dollars to his first contract.

Cons: Well, he would be playing another year of football for free. And such was the case with Barkley, Thomas very well could have another tough season and his draft stock could fall even lower. Perhaps in the worst situation, Thomas struggles once again and is forced to play tight end at the NFL level.

Readiness

Pros: We all know just how valuable Thomas can be, whether it be via his arm or legs. He might be an NFL-caliber player right now, but imagine the potential progression if he gets to work with Loeffler. A great season with Loeffler very well could prepare Thomas to be a starting QB right away as well as a top 2014 pick.

Cons: Let's be real. Thomas is not ready to be a starting NFL quarterback as of right now. If a team without a starting quarterback slid him in right away, it could be disastrous for Thomas' progression. How many quarterbacks have fizzled out after a couple of brutal seasons in the NFL? A lot. It would also be a missed opportunity to work with quarterbacks guru Loeffler.

Chooses to leave for NFL

Draft status

Pros: If Thomas decides to leave, he wouldn't be doing so without a good idea of where he'll be chosen in the draft. Somebody would have to convince him; a possible scenario is a report of the Dallas Cowboys possibly taking a flier on him in the second round. It also helps that this year's quarterback class is grossly under-talented compared to 2012. There really aren't too many quarterbacks that are definite locks at the beginning of the draft, so the quarterback rankings could be drastically different depending on the team.

Cons: This one is obvious. There's a minuscule chance that Thomas would be a top pick in the draft. He might even be lucky to be taken in the second round. This season hasn't exactly left a great taste in the mouth of all the people that scouted him. And as it happens every year, NFL teams lie. What if Thomas fell all the way to the fourth or fifth round?

Financially

Pros: No matter how much it is, Thomas gets to make money playing the game he loves if he leaves. While that fact is enough to entice any human being, Thomas is fortunate enough to be playing the money-making position. If a team takes a chance somewhat early on Thomas, it isn't going to be for a nickel and a penny.

Cons: This could be the biggest factor in making his decision. As mentioned, it's unlikely that the junior will be a top pick, therefore he would receive less money if taken in the second or third round. The decision could literally be the difference in millions of dollars. If Thomas chooses to leave and doesn't get the allotted amount of money his agent/NFL team promised, it would ultimately be a bad financial decision unless Thomas is successful in the NFL for an extended period of time. JaMarcus Russell may not be in the NFL, but he sure is still enjoying that $61 million contract.

Readiness

Pros: While many of us might not think he's ready, we're not the ones that make that decision. Thomas has proven over the course of the past two seasons that he can take over a game, he set new school-records for total yards in back-to-back years. An NFL team very well could believe Thomas' struggles this year were due to his surrounding cast (players and coaches alike), and that it wasn't an accurate reflection of his talent. With all of the aforementioned athletic quarterbacks having success so quickly, a team could take a chance on Thomas. Perhaps the best scenario would be if a team grabbed Thomas in the second round and had him develop as a backup for a number of years, a la Aaron Rodgers.

Cons: After his performance this season, it's hard to imagine Thomas having the ability to walk on to an NFL field and win a game right away. He's nowhere close to being the player he could be. If he leaves, it's possible that we may never find out just how good.




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