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The Jacksonville Jaguars hope they have found their Calvin Ridley replacement at No. 23 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft, as they selected former LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. 

Throughout the pre-draft process, Thomas has been slotted in the tier just below the likes of Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze. That said, don't mistake that for the LSU product being a slouch. He's far from it. The 21-year-old is coming off a second-team All-SEC season where he led FBS with 17 receiving touchdowns.

Thomas proved to be a valuable outlet for Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, as he tacked on 68 receptions and 1,177 receiving yards during his breakout senior season. Out of the gate, he'll be a solid deep threat within an NFL offense with the potential to develop into a possible WR1.

Here's what the Jaguars are getting in Thomas, including his scouting report, pro comparison, career accolades, fantasy fit and overall NFL outlook.

NFL Draft grade: B+

"This is a heck of a move for a team that needs another young weapon. He can fly and his best football is in front of him. Watch out for their offense in 2024." -- Pete Prisco

Join us for live 2024 NFL Draft analysis from CBS Sports and an updating NFL Draft trackerAlso check out Pete Prisco's NFL Draft grades for every first-round pick and subscribe to the "With the First Pick" podcast for nightly recaps, winners and losers and more from Detroit.

Fantasy football outlook

Analysis to come

Dynasty spin

Analysis to come

Brian Thomas Jr. NFL Draft prospect profile

  • Age as of Week 1: 21 years old
  • Height: 6-foot-2 7/8 inches
  • Weight: 209 pounds

Comparable body type: Tee Higgins

CBS Sports prospect ranking

Position: No. 4 WR | Overall: No. 17 | Rating: 91.87 (All-Pro)

NFL comparison: A combination of players

As a prospect, Thomas has a lot in common with Denzel Mims and Josh Doctson when they came out -- they're all tall receivers with good speed but unfinished products. Mims and Doctson didn't pan out. But players with size and speed like Jordy Nelson, Javon Walker and D.J. Chark each came into the league with speed as their primary strength and managed to have solid-to-good careers; obviously Nelson fared much better than Walker and Chark. Thomas has a ways to go to match Nelson, but that upside is there. As for downside, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for him to have the career trajectory of Chark, another LSU receiver with height and speed but never added on to his game.

Scouting report

Brian Thomas Jr. is a tall, decently sculpted perimeter wideout with plus ball-tracking capabilities. He's not super explosive, but he can win off the line to the inside or outside or with physicality. Some wiggle to his game, which also pops after the catch. Surprising agility for a taller WR. Deceptive long speed, and his build-up speed surprises DBs. He has some high-point ability and will find the ball over his shoulder/in-traffic with good regularity. He shows flashes dipping past DBs in his route. Nothing about his game stands out more than the rest; he's just a solid all-around WR prospect with a relatively polished game and fair amount of upside due to his age.


  • 2023: Third-team All-American (AP)
  • 2023: Led FBS with 17 rec TD last season (T-5th most in SEC history)


  • Complete game, rock-solid in every element of playing WR
  • Tracks the football downfield with ease
  • Plus cutting skills after the catch for a taller WR


  • Not incredibly explosive
  • Sometimes, physicality disrupts him
  • Not a contact-balance type after the catch

NFL combine results

  • 40-yard dash: 4.33 seconds
  • Bench press: 11 reps
  • Vertical jump: 38.5 inches
  • Broad jump: 10 feet, 6 inches

College stats breakdown

GamesTargetsReceptionsReceiving yardsYards per catchTotal TD
2023 vs. top-25 teams4282236816.75

CBS Sports fantasy takes an in-depth look at Brian Thomas Jr. as a draft prospect.