Earl Thomas, Texas
5’ 10” 197 lbs.
Sophomore (Draft Eligible)
Strengths: Speed, tackling ability, and open-field awareness.
Weaknesses: Size, experience
Not many players head out to play professional football just three years after graduating high school. That is a big step. Most players see four or five years in a college program before taking before leaving.
Texas’ young, venerable safety Earl Thomas is one guy who is skipping his final two years of college eligibility to earn a paycheck in the NFL. He feels that he has proven his worth in the college ranks and needs a new playing field to show the world just how good he really is.
When looking back at his two years at Texas, Thomas definitely displayed an innate ability at being in the right place at the right time. He recorded 135 tackles, 10 interceptions, 21 passes defended, and five forced fumbles. He was a Big 12 Honoree twice, being an Honorable Mention in ‘08 and making the First Team this past season.
In ’09 Texas had the third best defense in the country, ranking first against the run. Thomas was second on the team in tackles with 65 and nabbed eight interceptions, returning them for 149 yards and two touchdowns.
On film Thomas does tend to jump out at you, making open-field stops with authority and often meeting ball carriers near the line of scrimmage. He reminds some scouts of the Colt’s Bob Sanders, otherwise known as “the Eraser” because of his ability to make offensive players virtually disappear from games.
The biggest concerns at this point are his size (5’10”) and ability to hold up against NFL running games. He has managed to escape the injury bug thus far and that probably played into his decision to jump to the NFL this early. Another couple years of high wear and tear in college may have actually hurt his stock later, especially if he did start accumulating some injuries.
At the very least, Thomas should be a late first round selection and he will probably go in the top 20. There is no need to question his abilities as a football player based on his production. He should make an immediate impact on any team he joins, whether it is on defense or as a special teams head hunter.
Career Stats at Texas (2 years):
- 97 Solo Tackles
- 38 Assisted Tackles
- 8.5 Tackles for a Loss
- 10 Interceptions
- 21 Passes Defended
- Two Touchdowns
- Five Forced Fumbles
- One Blocked Kick