Height: 6-0 Weight: 202 Age: 31
Born: 1/8/1985 Los Angeles , CA
Positives: Has an athletic, tall frame with thick upper body muscle tone, especially in his shoulders, tight waist, long arms and defined calves...Plays with good field vision and alertness, as his ability to keep plays in front of him and handle zone switch-offs could see him shift to free safety at the next level...Runs with a normal stride and shows steady acceleration, but could be more explosive coming out of his breaks...Has quick feet and good hip flexibility (just lacks natural explosion)...Shows enough range to cover the field for a potential shift to safety...Makes adequate game adjustments on the field and puts in extra hours studying tapes (well-prepared for his upcoming opponent)...Has very good strength and shows good counter moves to play off blocks and slip into the backfield on the blitz...Team-first player who takes well to hard coaching...Plays with good intensity and will not hesitate to jaw with his opponent, accepting any challenge...In addition to possibly playing safety at the next level, he has also excelled on the punt coverage unit and shows good urgency getting down field to cover on kicks...Quick to see the play develop and takes good angles to adjust on the move...Reads run plays quickly and is a solid run-force defender...His key-and-diagnose skills are steadily improving (just needs to play the man tighter rather than try to make the big play by going for the ball)...Shows good body control and hand usage to jam and reroute the receiver and works hard to keep the wide-out in front of his (knows he lacks the burst to recover when the receiver gets behind him)...Smooth in his backpedal and makes crisp breaks when he keeps his pads down (will tend to get too high at times and the result is poor plant-and-drive skills when he does that)...His hip turn is good for safety, but he needs to generate a better second gear (will also take some wasted motion at times out of his breaks)...Gets good depth in his pass drops playing in the zone and when he does not allow big cushion, he can mirror the receiver and react quickly to the ball in flight (when he allows too much cushion and the receiver gets behind him, he struggles to recover)...Needs to play with more consistent urgency (goes through the motions at times when the play is away from him), but he has the functional range to get over the top...Has the foot quickness and body control to deliver a jam and run with receivers, showing quickness to open and run...Has good leaping ability, but must work on his timing...Can catch with his hands, but needs to do it with better consistency...Has good hand usage playing off the block in run force, doing a better job of exploding behind his hits in tight areas than in the open...More of a drag-down tackler, as he will get high on contact, but he generates good pop. Negatives: Has good foot speed and overall quickness, but is not explosive coming out of his bursts and will struggle in man coverage vs. speedier receivers on long routes at the next level, making him a better candidate to play free safety than cornerback...Durability is a concern, as he is a hard-hitting tackler, but the result of those hits have put wear and tear on his upper body, undergoing surgery on both shoulders to repair dislocations...Has also had his right knee surgically repaired (torn ligaments)...Lacks suddenness when closing on the ball, but does a good job of getting into position to make the play...Adequate student who plays with good alertness, but sometimes spends too much time eyeing the quarterback and needs to make quicker decisions getting to the ball in flight (will bite on play action/pump fakes)...Likes to keep plays in front of him, but a savvy receiver with speed can quickly gobble up his cushion and get behind him...Will usually get into position to make the play, but lacks that split-second timing to deliver his hits (hesitates some)...Has just adequate closing speed, but is capable of generating back-side pursuit when blitzing...Has loose hips, but lacks the second gear to recover when beaten...Also demonstrates natural hands, but despite good leaping ability, his timing is generally off and he needs to improve it to combat for jump balls and get to the pass at its high point...Good cut tackler, but must stay lower in his pads when looking to wrap up (gets too high in his stance, causing to struggle there)...Gets a little reckless in his play, preferring to attack the ball than play off his man...Even with loose hips, he takes false steps in transition and looks sluggish with his plant-and-drive coming out of his break (no explosion in his stop-and-go action)...Must learn to sink his pads better, as he gets too tall in his stance to make cut tackles in the open vs. smaller receivers...Has eight interceptions in his career, but several of his pass break-ups could have been pass thefts if he did not double clutch and let the ball into his body (needs to extend and catch it outside his frame)...Physical tackler in the box, but needs to shoot his hands quicker and keep them inside the framework when working near the line (his exposed chest is inviting for the larger blockers to lock on), as he struggles to shed. Compares To: DWIGHT SMITH-Minnesota...Like Smith, Thomas is a hard-hitting cornerback, but his lack of blazing speed will see him struggle when isolated on deep routes vs. speedy NFL receivers. Smith was the same way, but he made a smooth transition to safety and has been productive there because of his tackling skills. Thomas has experience at free safety and has shown good playing skills inside the box. With his strong hand jolt, he will not have any problems rerouting tight ends and backs in the short-area passing game. He does a nice job of mirroring the receivers, until they eat up his cushion on deep routes. Without possessing that explosive burst to close, along with durability concerns, teams might shy away from him in the early rounds when looking for a cornerback, but his draft stock could be higher if he shows that he might be capable of making the move to free safety at the next level.