Scouting The 2013 NFL Draft: Shamarko Thomas, SS - Syracuse

Mark Konezny-US PRESSWIRE

We continue to look at some of the prospects that will be available in the 2013 NFL draft.

Introduction

There is a reason why Shamarko is being compared to Bob Sanders, their game and measurables are eerily similar. That should get your mind wandering straight away. After the death of both his parents, his father in a motocycle accident - Shamarko thought about leaving for the draft early to try and help support the family, however he decided to stay in school through 2012 - his senior season. His mother was trying to raise six children while working as a dental nurse, as well as working in McDonalds, she preached to her son the importance of hard work, and this is a message that has stuck with Shamarko who quickly became a leader on the field and a work-out warrior.

Measurables

Height: 5'9

Weight: 213 lb's

Arms: 32 1/2"

Hands: 9 1/4"

40 yards: 4.42 (Top Performer)

Bench: 28 Reps (Top Performer)

Vertical: 40.5" (Top performer)

Broad: 133" (Top Performer)

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.26 seconds

Statistics

Shamarko Thomas's Defensive Stats
Season Tackles Tackles FAL Interceptions Pass Break Ups Forced Fumbles
2012 85 3.5 2 0 3
2011 67 3.0 0 1 0
2010 67 3.5 0 3 0
2009 41 6.5 0 1 1

Positives

I don't think you'll find a harder working player, on the football field or in the weight room. His 28 reps on the bench show how much work he has been putting in. Has a muscular frame and packed out with muscle and strength. Works downhill very quickly and delivers big hits at the line, works through traffic well. Shows good body control and has excellent straight line speed. Can turn and run with receivers, has the short area change of ability to cover slot receivers. Has been an effective rusher off the edge, and his time as a linebacker has allowed him to develop instinctive moves to stop the ball carrier. Very physical safety who isn't afraid to mix it up with much bigger backs and receivers. Although he does not have elite size, he has great bounce and wins a lot of match-ups on contested footballs.

Negatives

Does not possess the proto size for a safety and has moved around the line-up a lot with only one full year of safety starting experience. Needs to wrap up tacklers a lot better, sometimes goes for the big hit and this causes missed tackles resulting in big plays. Similar to Eric Reid, he plays too aggressive and can run himself out of a play. Doesn't always come down with the ball when opportunities arise for interceptions.

Conclusion

The easy decision for Shamarko would have been to leave school early, pick up a pay check to help support his family. However he wanted to stay in school for education and refinement of his game and 2012 really helped. He has become a leader and he got a lot better in 2012 with extensive starting experience at the safety position. He still has a way to go to become a complete player but with some work and some reps at the next level, I have little doubt he'll become a very good player.

Would I draft him for the Jets?

I would draft him if he fell to us in the 3rd and look at him in the 2nd. He has a lot of talent and we do need good safeties as we simply don't know what we have with the roster right now. I like his physical side and he does remind me of Bob Sanders, which is never a bad thing. He'll need to work on his coverage but his ability to make plays at the line, and his recovery speed make him a very intriguing guy. I like the pop and downhill ferocity.

Highlights


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