Cardinals pick Va. Tech QB Thomas in 4th round
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals went for a quarterback in the fourth round of the NFL draft, taking Virginia Tech's big Logan Thomas.
At 6-foot-6, 248 pounds and with a strong arm, Thomas could be groomed as an eventual replacement for 34-year-old Carson Palmer.
Coach Bruce Arians had downplayed the idea of taking a quarterback in later rounds, but he reportedly loved what he saw during in-person visits with Thomas.
''I had a pretty good idea that I had a chance to go to the Cardinals and in all honesty this is what I was hoping,'' Thomas said by phone after his selection Saturday. ''It just felt right from the first time meeting coach Arians and (quarterbacks) coach (Freddie) Kitchens. It just felt right from the very beginning.''
Thomas completed 55.5 percent of his passes for 9,003 career yards for the Hokies, with 53 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions. As a senior, he completed 56.5 percent for 2,907 yards and 16 TDs with 13 interceptions.
Thomas was the sixth quarterback selected in the draft and the 120th pick overall.
He set Virginia Tech career records for yards passing, touchdowns, total offense (10,352 yards), completions (694) and attempts (1,249).
But there have been concerns about his accuracy and passing touch, things he said he has worked on this offseason with quarterback specialist George Woodfield.
''I've grown as a quarterback in this offseason,'' Thomas said. ''Everybody's basing it off the season, which I understand. That's what's on film. But this offseason was a chance I was able to really go refine some things.''
As an offensive coordinator at Pittsburgh and Indianapolis and interim head coach with the Colts, Arians worked with Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck.
Thomas said ''it means a ton'' to get to play for someone with that pedigree.
''I think it kind of shows he's willing to work with a guy and build him up,'' he said, ''and create him into pretty much a monster in the way they play football. For me, I couldn't have gone into a better situation.''
Playing behind Palmer also is a benefit, Thomas said.
''Some guys get thrown into the fire off the start,'' he said. ''... I have the opportunity to sit and watch and learn from a guy who's been in the league for a good amount of time and has had a lot of success in the league as well.''
Some teams thought Thomas would be better suited at tight end but Thomas said Arians assured him he would be a quarterback.
''There were some that did (want me at tight end) and when they asked me questions about it, I said `Look, I'm a quarterback first. That's what I want to be. That's what I'm going to be.'''
He said he could understand using him at tight end in a package or two when he is a backup quarterback ''but I really want to be a quarterback solely and coach Arians and his staff agreed with me on that.''
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL