Earl Thomas, S
- Height: 5-foot-10
- Weight: 195 pounds
- School: Texas
It would be difficult to imagine a player having a bigger impact in two years than Thomas did during his time at Texas, and there's little debate that the redshirt sophomore is ready for the next level after he declared for the draft. His numbers from his All-America season in 2009 were almost inconceivable - he ranked second on the Longhorns with 77 tackles, second in the nation with a school-record eight interceptions including two returned for touchdowns and first nationally with 24 pass break-ups. Those statistics prove Thomas' rare ballhawking ability, and those instincts - combined with his superb athleticism - are the primary reason he's ranked as the second-best safety on many draft boards, behind only Tennessee's Eric Berry. Thomas also possesses more-than-adequate speed and plenty of physicality, although critics have claimed he's inexperienced and too undersized to effectively defend the run in the NFL, especially after Alabama racked up 205 rushing yards while beating Texas in the BCS title game. But he reassured suitors by adding weight before the NFL Combine and still displaying his athleticism, possibly quelling talk of a potential move to cornerback at the next level. The fact that a positional shift was even discussed is a testament to his man coverage skills, and regardless of his future team's intentions, it's still very likely Thomas will gone by the time the New Orleans Saints close out the first round.
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