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
- 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.
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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