Join Date: May 2004
Sloan Thomas- Sloan has good size, strength and speed for his position. He played in a big time program in a receiver set that included Roy Williams and BJ Johnson. He runs routes very well and does a good job catching the ball. Has played all three receiver positions and has been used as a jack-of-all-trades type of player. He has been the coach’s emotional fallback guy.
Watching Sloan on film is like watching a pinball fly around one of those old pinball games before they invented computers. In one film, he is a wide out because Roy (Pink) Williams was hurt or had a cold or whatever. In another, he is in the slot or flipping with Johnson so that BJ could get loose to catch a pass. After watching this kid for a while, I realized what a team player he is and how much he is sacrificing his own personal game. I started to watch him more closely in everything even if it was just watching him take a swig of water. I felt like a stalker, but I had to find out about this kid because of the character that he showed in his play on the field. I looked for stats to help in analyzing him- fugetaboutit- so I waited for his pro day to see what he did in his drills. Here they are- 6’ 1”- 200lbs, ran a 4.45 and a 4.52- his 3 cone was 6.94. The 3-cone drill helps me to understand if he can be quick in and out of his breaks. Most of the good cornerbacks do the cone in under 7.00, so it makes sense that WR’s should be doing it in 7.00 or less. I think Sloan has the potential (because of what I see on the film) to be a better player in the NFL than he was in college. That is a gut instinct impression based on – well, to be honest, I’m not sure what it’s based on. That’s just what I think. Besides, he’s got a neat name, too. What is a Sloan? Maybe it’s a Texas song, you know- Sloan, Sloan on the Range. I think we got a sleeper here, TEXANS
Vontez Duff- Has good overall muscle definition, with a thick chest, good shoulders and defined thighs and calves … Shows adequate ability to read and react quickly to the play … Shows a good backpedal and the ability to come out of his turn with no wasted motions through transition … Shows effective speed and a closing burst to recover when beaten … Has the range to make plays in front of him … Comes up fast to lend support vs. the run and is a good drag-down tackler … Has above-average flexibility and agility … Shows the straight-line acceleration needed to "take it to the house" as a kickoff returner.
Exciting return specialist and big-play artist … Was originally recruited as a running back, but moved to the defensive backfield as a true freshman, earning a starting job the following year … Holds the distinction of being the only player in school history to score on an interception, kickoff and punt return in the same season … Started 33 of 47 games for the Irish, recording 98 tackles (74 solos) with three stops for losses of 11 yards, three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, 17 pass deflections and a blocked kick … Also had seven interceptions for 129 yards in returns (18.4 avg.) with a touchdown … Added 1,230 yards on 47 kickoff returns (26.2 avg.), including a pair of scores, the fourth-best career totals in school history behind Raghib Ismail (1,271 yards, 1988-90), Jim Stone (49 returns, 1977-80), Tim Brown (69 for 1,613, 1984-87) and Julius Jones (72 for 1,678, 1999-2003) … Had 73 punt returns for 725 yards (9.9 avg.) and a touchdown … Only Dave Duerson (869, 1979-82) and Frank Carideo (947, 1928-30) gained more yards on punt returns in school annals … His total kick return yardage of 1,955 is surpassed only by Brown (2,089) and Jones (2,104) in Notre Dame history.
Sloan is the perfect compliment to the Texans top WR's, he is a team player with excellent speed. Duff is clearly much stronger than JJ Moses, just as fast but with a NFL body type that will hold up to the violent nature of special teams. Also you really don't know how he can develop as a CB in the NFL, he already has the experience & raw tools needed that in the event of unforseen injury or game time decision could be very effective.