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April 27, 2008

Thomas drafted by Miami

Donald Thomas became the second member of UConn's senior class to be drafted by an NFL team Sunday when he was chosen by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round at No. 195 overall.

Thomas, an offensive guard, joins cornerback Tyvon Branch, who was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the fourth round (No. 100 overall). The two become the fourth UConn duo drafted, joining Alfred Fincher and Dan Orlovsky in 2005, Dave Bishop and John Contoulis in 1962 and Walt Dropo and Walt Trojanowski in 1946.

A 6-foot-4, 303-pounder, Thomas' selection is especially remarkable given that he did not play organized football until arriving at college. He started just one season - 2007 - for the Huskies and did not allow a sack through 13 games.

Nearly every mock draft slotted Thomas at anywhere between the third and fifth rounds and evaluated him as a top-five guard. He was amongst the top performers on the offensive line at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis in February, displaying his quickness with a 5.0-second 40-yard dash and a 7.45-second three-cone drill time. He was also invited to participate in the Hula Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game, two of the most prestigious contests for college seniors.

Thomas was the 10th guard taken in the NFL Draft, with Virginia's Branden Albert the lone first-rounder when he was chosen by Kansas City at No. 15. Rutgers' Jeremy Zuttah was selected in the third round and Pittsburgh's Mike McGlynn was chosen in the fourth.

Continue to check out UConnReport.com for more information on both Branch's and Thomas' selections.

Zac Boyer, now the editor and publisher of UConnReport.com, covers UConn sports for Rivals.com. He can be reached at zacboyer@rivals.com.

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