Photo of Shamarko Thomas
Grade
69.6 ?
  • 4.42 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 28 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 40.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 133.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 4.26 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 5'9" Height
  • 31 1/2" Arm Length
  • 213LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/4" Hands

Overview

Losing one parent too early is a devastating event; losing both, then taking the lead in the household as the oldest of six children forces one to grow up in a hurry. Thomas lived through this unfortunate circumstance before the 2010 season, losing his mother to a heart condition and his father to a motorcycle accident within nine months. He considered leaving school for the NFL after his junior year to help provide for his family, but his patience -– along with his speed, athleticism, and bone-jarring tackles –- might pay off in a higher draft slot in the 2013 draft.



The all-state pick in football and as a track sprinter from Virginia Beach stepped into a starting role in seven games as a true freshman, moving from linebacker to safety to cornerback depending on the matchup (41 tackles, 6.5 for loss). He again started seven games and played in all 13 in 2010, racking up 67 tackles, 3.5 for loss and three pass break-ups despite playing with padding and a brace on his left elbow much of the season. Thomas started all 10 games in which he played as a junior (missing two with a leg injury), again making 67 stops, three for loss. Thomas started in all 13 games as a senior, and led the Orange in tackles, with 85. He also intercepted two passes, and forced three fumbles. His play in 2012 earned him a Coaches All-Big East first-team selection.

Analysis

Strengths

Tough safety with a linebacker’s mentality and good thickness throughout his frame. Used around the line throughout his career, but also possesses the closing speed to make plays from a two-deep look. Attacks run plays when his recognition skills tell him to come downhill, makes jarring stops by flowing through traffic and lining up his target. Will finish tackles when at his best, wrapping with authority and even throwing running backs of similar size to the ground. Mixes it up in the box despite his size, won’t back down from lineman blocks and will extend his arm to keep them at bay. Effective blitzer off the edge using his speed and change of direction ability to make plays. Speedy and athletic enough to stay with slot receivers down the seam, can show blitz off-tackle and get back to handle slot coverage responsibility. Covers a lot of ground in the secondary when deep, can change directions effectively to get angles to prevent explosive plays. Strong enough to win 50/50 scenarios with receivers in coverage. Leader and communicator in the secondary. Aggressiveness and speed should make him an outstanding special teams coverage player early in his career.

Weaknesses

Lacks ideal height for a defensive back, though his arm length appears to be more than adequate. Has been a safety/linebacker hybrid through most his career. Leaves his feet on some tackles trying to make the big hit or swipe down defenders instead of taking them on. Gets jumpy and needs to use his hands more effectively when pressing in the slot, can be head-faked at the line to give up inside leverage – though he has recovery speed, length, and toughness to stay in the play. Must prove he possesses the hands to play the ball in the air and to make more difficult interceptions. Lack of height makes him a potential liability in downfield coverage against NFL receivers and tight ends.

NFL Comparison

Quintin Mikell

Bottom Line

Thomas lost both his parents before his sophomore year in college, and is now the head of a family including six children. The hard-hitting and speedy safety considered leaving for the NFL early, but returned to get closer to achieving his degree and increase his value to NFL scouts. Though his lack of height is not ideal for a pro defensive back, his coverage skills and ability to support against the run make him a potential starting strong safety who is likely to be selected in the middle rounds.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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