The only running back worth a first round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft turned out to be Emmitt Smith at No. 17 overall.
Despite being the second overall pick out of Penn State by the New York Jets, Blair Thomas was outdone in the National Football League by nearly every running back that came after him. His pedestrian 2,236 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on 533 carries over six years trails plenty of other moderately memorable names such as Terry Allen, taken by Minnesota in the 9th round (8,614 yards, 73 TDs) and Chris Warren, selected in the 4th round by Seattle (7,696 yards, 52 TDs).
Maybe Thomas would’ve been better off with a different team. He entered the league at the same time as New York’s first-year head coach Bruce Coslet, who lasted just as long with the Jets as Thomas did before going on to finish with a paltry 47-77 record in the NFL over nine years. For the sake of being factual, it’s worth mentioning that Coslet never knew a season better than 8-8 while on the sideline with the Jets and Cincinnati Bengals.
Thomas rushed for just 2,009 yards (468 carries) and five touchdowns for the Jets from 1990-93. He carried the ball at least 15 times in a game only eight times during that stretch and rushed for 100 yards or more just two times. Career highlights include rushing 20 times for 100 yards in a loss to the New England Patriots in his fourth game, and then going for a career-high 125 yards on 27 carries against the Chicago Bears four games into his second year.