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Carolina Panthers select former IU tight end Ian Thomas in the 2018 NFL Draft



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Senior tight end Ian Thomas and junior offensive lineman Delroy Baker celebrate Thomas' touchdown in the second half of IU's 49-21 loss to Ohio State. IU will have to replace its starting tight end this season after Thomas graduated and was selected in the NFL Draft. Katie Franke Buy Photos

Former IU tight end Ian Thomas was drafted into the National Football League on Saturday

The Carolina Panthers selected Thomas with the 101st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. He was the first selection in the fourth round. 

Thomas spent the final two seasons of his collegiate career with the Hoosiers after playing two seasons of junior college football at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York. 

After arriving in Bloomington, Thomas played 23 total games in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Thomas' junior season featured only three receptions, including two catches in the Foster Farms Bowl against Utah. 

The 2017 season was more productive for the Baltimore, Maryland, native. He started in 10 games while earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. Thomas caught five touchdown passes, including two in the season-opening loss to Ohio State. It was the second-most touchdown catches in a single season by an IU tight end.

Thomas recorded his career-long touchdown against Georgia Southern, posting a 71-yard receiving score in the second half. He concluded his senior season by being the lone IU participant in the Reese's Senior Bowl on Jan. 27, during which he recorded one catch for 28 yards.

Thomas took part in both the NFL Combine in March and the IU football pro day in April.

He is the first IU tight end to be drafted since Ted Bolser was selected by the Washington Redskins in the seventh round in 2014.

Thomas is the highest drafted tight end in IU history. He is also the first IU player to be drafted by Carolina.

Cameron Drummond

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