In 2014, the Detroit Lions spent a fourth-round draft pick on Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas. The Bills signed him Wednesday with the intention of converting him to tight end.
"Is he a project? Yes, certainly it’s a project," coach Rex Ryan said. "[I] don’t anticipate him doing anything right now because he doesn’t know the plays or anything, but let’s take a shot, see what we got in this young man and maybe he can do some things."
To be fair, it was the Lions who initially convinced Thomas to try the position switch after bouncing around the league as a quarterback. They brought him in for a tight end workout earlier this week and signed him to their practice squad, but he left when the Bills offered him a spot on the 53-man roster.
Wednesday was his second practice at the new position.
“It’s escalated quite quickly,” he said. “It’s been a whirlwind of a week.”
— Nick Veronica (@NickVeronica) November 30, 2016
Thomas was actually a top-rated tight end recruit out of high school, but a lot of that was based on his size and athleticism (he’s now 6-6, 250). He played wide receiver until his junior year of high school, when he switched to quarterback. Some evaluators thought he might have more potential at another position.
“It was pretty tough,” Thomas said of giving up his quarterbacking dream. “I don’t know if it’s completely hit me yet. But, you know, I didn’t have really any opportunities there. It could’ve been my own fault, but whatever. It’s just something you have to deal with, bite the bullet.
“Tight end is a different language,” he added. “I still catch myself when I’m looking at film, looking at stuff as if I was a quarterback, and I’m like, I have to get my mind off of that.”
It's certainly an interesting move for the Bills. Thomas has great size but told Lions reporters this week that he hadn't even gone through drills at a position other than quarterback since his sophomore year of high school. “I know nothing” about tight end, he said. (He did, however, catch a touchdown pass from Tyrod Taylor during his freshman year of college.)
Ryan said Thomas will be inactive Sunday against the Raiders. He'll be hard-pressed to find the field in the short term, as Charles Clay and Nick O'Leary have a hold on the Bills' top two tight end spots. They also have Manasseh Garner on the practice squad and Chris Gragg and Blake Annen on injured reserve.
Also Wednesday, the Bills added guard Isame Faciane to the practice squad. He entered the league with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2014. They switched him from a defensive lineman to an offensive lineman.