The Redskins drafted Michigan State wide receiver Devin Thomas with their top pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
That pick, it turned out, came in the second round, at No. 34 overall. The Redskins traded down from the 21st overall pick in the first round, acquiring a second-round selection that they would be used on Thomas.
Thomas was projected by many as a first-round prospect. He fell into the second round on a draft day in which no wide receiver was taken in the first round.
"That was the biggest surprise for us," head coach Jim Zorn said. "We were thinking, 'Okay, well we are giving that up to go down and get more choices in he second round.' And then he was there in the second round. So we got excited about that."
Thomas started only one year at Michigan State as a junior college transfer.
He caught 79 passes for 1,350 yards and nine TDs last year. He also served as a kick returner.
For his career, Thomas played in 23 games with 14 starts and caught 85 passes for 1,350 yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 15.8 yards per catch.
Asked if his short tenure at Michigan State was cause for concern, Zorn replied: "I'm not [concerned], because guys develop at different times in their lives and I think that is what happened. Probably in spring ball last year, they saw who they really had.
"He started really coming on in spring ball and they started throwing him the ball. He came through for them in 2007."
Regarded as one of the strongest receivers in the draft, Thomas is also thought to be a good fit for the West Coast offense that Zorn is installing this year.
At 6-2 and 220 pounds, Thomas has the size the Redskins are looking for to fit in Zorn's offense.
He is expected to complement wide receivers Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El, who are fast but on the smallish side.