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Raiders undrafted free agency: Meet Drake Thomas

North Carolina State linebacker has a lot of spunk

Duke’s Mayo Bowl - Maryland v NC State
Drake Thomas
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

We’re continuing to look at some of the Las Vegas Raiders’ undrafted free agents.

Let’s get to know linebacker Drake Thomas of North Carolina:


This is a big reason why he went undrafted. He is undersized at 5-foot-11, 228 pounds.

Shrine Game success:

Like fourth-round pick, Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell, Thomas performed well at the Shrine game and practice week in Las Vegas. Now, he will try to make Allegiant Stadium his home. There were a lot of Raiders’ coaches and staffers around the Shrine week and Thomas made a positive impression.


As a junior in 2021, Thomas was first-team All-ACC and led the team with 100 tackles. He added 13.5 tackles for loss with six sacks and he had three interceptions. In 2022, he was second-team all conference and he led the team with 101 tackles with 19 tackles for loss with 7.5 sacks. He was a three-year starter for the Wolfpack

Good against the run:

Thomas excels against the run and he can bring the heat going down hill. He was Pro Football Focus’ fourth-highest graded linebacker against the run in 2022.

Good opportunity:

The Raiders are looking to develop young linebackers and have will keep an open mind to players like Thomas.

Best bet:

With a strong training camp and preseason, Thomas can make the 53-man roster and vie to play on special teams as a rookie and then develop as a defensive player. If he doesn’t make the initial 53-man roster, Thomas seems like a perfect candidate to start the season on the practice squad.