Texas Safety Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas: Texas, No. 12, FS, 5-10, 197

A tiny, undersized safety who lacks ideal height and bulk for the position, Thomas has the frame of a cornerback. He isn't physical when asked to shed blocks at the second level, is easily locked onto and struggles to disengage. He can be easily sealed from the run game when lined up from the slot. He does have some man-to-man cover skills even though he isn't fluid in his drop, but he possesses good balance and footwork and gets out of his breaks quickly. He displays good awareness and does a nice job finding the ball and closing on the play. Thomas redirects well in coverage, showcases a feel for the pass game and does a great job breaking off his man and jumping routes. He possesses impressive ball skills and knows how to pluck the ball and secure the grab. He reads the action well in front of him and clicks and closes quickly. He takes good angles in pursuit and breaks down well in space, but he has a tendency to go high and doesn't generate much power as a tackler when he doesn't attack downhill and can be stepped through and broken on contact.

Thomas is fluid in coverage and does a nice job keeping his feet under him, staying patient in his drop and cleanly changing directions. He gets up to speed very quickly, has a good first step and consistently is able to find the ball. But he can be boxed out of plays too easily and doesn't display the type of force and power to fight his way through receivers consistently in order to go up and get the ball. He possesses good range in the deep half and has the ability to turn and run and locate. Overall, Thomas is a natural player with great feet, body control and instincts in coverage. But his size is his biggest knock, and he isn't a guy who will be effective inside the box.

Grade: 6.2

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