In our continuing series of prospect profiles for the upcoming NFL Draft, it is time to turn our attention to a guy many of you would absolutely LOVE to see in a New York Giants uniform in 2010.
That would be Texas safety Earl Thomas. He is considered a ball-hawking safety with cornerback-type coverage skills (when is the last time anyone said that about a Giants safety?) and the more I read about the guy the more I wonder how or why the Giants would pass if he is available when their turn comes up at No. 15 in the first round.
Earl Thomas Scouting Reports
Here is Walter Football talking about what Thomas brings to the table.
Earl Thomas is the kind of football player you just love to watch on tape. You fall in love with his speed, athleticism and instincts, but some teams might be scared of his small frame, which really seems to be the only thing holding him back from being a top-10 draft pick. Thomas projects as a free safety in the NFL and seems to be too good to fall out of the top 25 picks.
If you watched the Giants safeties this season -- and, sadly, I know you did -- you have to absolutely drool when you read what SB Nation's Mocking The Draft says about Thomas' ability to play the football.
Thomas has perhaps the best ball skills of any defensive back in this year’s class – Eric Berry included. Thomas is a natural with the ball in the air. He catches the ball like a wide receiver. ...
Possesses elite recognition skills – both against the pass and sniffing out the run. When he plays back in coverage, Thomas does an excellent job of reading the quarterback’s eyes. ...
Thomas has the skills to be a starting cornerback in the NFL. He stays low in his backpedal and doesn’t take false steps in his break. Adept playing in zone. ...
Thomas has shown he has the football acumen to play at the next level. Played safety in college, but some teams might consider him a cornerback. His ball skills, agility and speed would say as much.
Why Thomas fits with the Giants
All of the above. All the reports indicate he has cover skills no Giants' safety -- including Kenny Phillips -- possesses. The Giants have got to find a way to stop giving up the big play in the passing game, and a safety with cornerback coverage skills -- particularly in zone, which we know Perry Fewell historically favors -- seems like an outstanding choice.
Why the Giants should pass
When you guys think of a good reason, let me know. I sure can't come up with one. The Giants have a desperate need, Thomas has the skills, and all reports indicate mid-first round is the right place in the draft for him to come off the board. The only reason I can possibly see that they would pass is if Alabama middle linebacker Rolando McClain is there, and they like him more. And, to be honest, that is debatable.
(E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org)