By Kip Earlywine
Unofficial 40: 4.41
- Consistent and productive
- Good range
- Good instincts, plays smart, smooth, does the little things
- Good tackler
- Shows some nice athleticism
- Ball hawk skill set (reads eyes, good anticipation, etc)
- Good in coverage
- A little undersized
"Thomas isn't a huge guy but can cover a tremendous amount of real estate."
Safety is one of the hardest positions to evaluate. A player can be hard to identify pre-snap, and they are constantly off the screen. So any of these safety previews are going to be extra light on content and insight. Apologies.
Earl Thomas, in a nutshell, looks like a 2nd round Tim Ruskell pick. The kind that was nothing but a stud in college and continued to play well in the pros despite some limiting factor (in this case, size). He looks really natural and pretty much does everything you'd want from a safety. Thomas won't be a 2nd rounder though, he'll probably go mid-1st round. His size deficiency is only a minor concern and his well rounded skillset and few flaws will make him one of the safest picks in the draft.
I'm not sure how I'd feel about the Seahawks drafting him though. He looks like a very good safety, but not a superstar, and since safety is one of the lowest impact positions on the defense, my tendency is to wait til the 2nd round or later to address that position. The Seahawks need impact with their 1st round picks, not more "sure things" with lower positional value. Not to begrudge Thomas. He's a deserving 1st round pick to a team that needs safety above everything else, and he will certainly have many suitors between picks 10-20.