Julius Thomas traded in his basketball sneakers for football cleats a year ago and now he's pulling down receptions for the Denver Broncos like he did rebounds for the Portland State Vikings.
Thomas played just one year of college football after leading his school to two NCAA tournament berths. That was enough for the Broncos to move up in the draft to select the intriguing 6-foot-5, 255-pound former forward in the fourth round.
Thomas is turning heads at the same rate as Von Miller, Raheem Moore and Orlando Thomas, three ballyhooed rookies who are already listed atop the depth chart at their positions.
Quarterback Kyle Orton said he's impressed by the raw rookie who has uncanny instincts that bely the fact he's only been playing tight end since last August.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)