It’s been reported that Chip Kelly is considering playing De’Anthony Thomas at cornerback, adding another position to a long list of where he’s played on the team this season. His history and the current situation seems to make enough sense to think about it, but is it really necessary?
Last year, Thomas overwhelmed scouts despite being undersized at 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds. His athleticism wowed Scott Thomas, who wrote in Thomas’ evaluation that he’s “the only player (he’s) ever said that could legitimately be 5-Stars at four different positions(:) RB, S, CB, (and) WR.”
Considering Oregon’s secondary is a mess with both veteran cornerbacks, Troy Hill and Dior Mathis, and safety Avery Patterson all suffering injuries, the value of Thomas’ ability could be used. Patterson is already known to be out for the season with a torn ACL last week against California. Mathis has been gone since Colorado, and Hill’s been used sparingly missing three games this season, recently sitting against the Golden Bears.
That being said, the move is completely unnecessary. Stanford ranks from average to below average both in the conference and nationally. Despite injuries, Oregon has the depth on the defensive side to contain the passing game of Kevin Hogan who’s just starting his second game of the season.
What the Cardinal will try to do is use Stepfan Taylor to control the clock and limit the Ducks’ amount of possessions in the game. Hogan trying to pass on a weakened secondary could be devastating if Autzen Stadium carries a ruckus crowd. More emphasis should be shown on the defensive line that Isi Sofele was carving up for California. He reached a season-high 134 yards on 15 carries, also bringing in his third touchdown run of the season.
It’s expected that both Marcus Mariota and Kenjon Barner will be okay and start against Stanford, but anything to help the offense against their toughest defense yet would be trying to implement DAT in his usual rotation of running the ball and aiding the receivers on the offensive end.
Adding Thomas to the defense is an interesting idea and one that could be revisited as soon as next week, but it doesn’t make sense to develop the position this week.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo. See his banter with other FanSided writers and love for his favorite west coast professional teams by following him on Twitter.