NFL Draft Spotlight: Earl Thomas, FS, Texas

by Cory J. Bonini on April 21, 2010 @ 00:00:00 PDT


Texas Longhorns star safety Earl Thomas enters the 2010 NFL Draft as a redshirt sophomore. Known for his big-play knack, the productive ball-hawk logged eight interceptions, with two returned for touchdowns, in 2009. He added 63 total tackles. His 2008 season resulted in 71 stops, four forced fumbles and two picks.


  • Capable in run support
  • Athletic, versatile (can play cornerback)
  • Excellent coverage skills - great range
  • Instinctual
  • Reads and reacts quickly
  • Awesome recovery and closing speed
  • Baits the quarterback into mistakes
  • Fierce competitor and a hard worker
  • Productive and consistent
  • Very savvy - knows his teammates assignments
  • Of high character
  • Special teams contributor


  • Stature: Thomas is a bit on the lean side at 208 pounds, but his height (5-foot-10) is more of a concern. Can he hold up playing in the box?
  • As a cornerback, he'll need a lot of work (high backpedal, slow coming out of his turn).
  • Average tackler - can get run over at times
  • Overpursues against play-action   

Expected draft placement

Even though he has made a few high-profile mistakes (Michael Crabtree's game-winning touchdown in 2008, several missed tackles against Alabama in the BCS title game in 2009), Thomas is a potentially elite player. He figures to be a free safety in the NFL, and several teams would love to roster him.

A surefire first-rounder, Thomas figures to draw the most interest from the Houston Texans (No. 20) and Cincinnati Bengals (No. 21), but he certainly could be drafted earlier.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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