Prospect: Shamarko Thomas, SAF, Syracuse
Height: 5’8 7/8″
Grade: 7.05I (Grading Scale)
Shamarko Thomas is a stout, thick and rocked up safety prospect. He brings the physicality to the field where receivers take notice of where he is prior to their routes. Thomas is built like a truck and is an explosive athlete for the position. He is a physical in the box safety that finds a way to weave through traffic and get around blocks to make plays.
Attacks bigger linemen violently in the hole to get to the ball-carrier. Thomas has a “missile guidance system” where he scans his the field and when he is locked on to his target accelerates quickly to top speed and won’t be stopped until he has destroyed his target. He’s not limited to box safety as he can hold up in the deep third with great top end speed to cover range on the back-end. Closes angles to the ball quickly and takes away space quickly.
In zone coverage he plays a physical attacking style, plays like he is shot out of a cannon when he is coming downhill towards a target. Gets himself into throwing lanes forcing the QB to pump fake or pull it down. Thomas can and will be used as a blitzer at the next level. He possesses explosive ability off the edge with his rapid acceleration and power to close. Puts his body on the line as a tackler and provides explosive striking ability. Has experience in a number of different coverage roles. He can drop down to the line and disrupt release of the tight end with physicality and sudden hands.
Takes effective pursuit angles at the line and has the laterally agility to slide around blocks and square up the ball carrier. In tight areas, he creates a tremendous amount of short area power. Uncoils and unleashes his power. Wraps up and drives though the target. Thomas plays the game with passion, intensity and fire. Vocal and emotional leader. Adds special teams value with his straight line speed and striking ability he will be a fierce gunner on coverage units.
Thomas is a stout and tightly wound defender. He lacks length and doesn’t have much length to extend away from his frame. Due to his tight compact build he will have trouble matching up against quicker, more sudden slot receivers in man coverage situations. Like many aggressive safety prospects, his biggest strength is also his weakness.
He will get sucked upfield on play-action and when the QB pump fakes. Has a tendency to take over-aggressive pursuit angles and often over runs the ball-carrier. Thomas leaves his feet too often, diving and launching at the RB. I am bothered by the lack of ball skills he shows on tape. Not a natural ball-hawk and doesn’t create turnovers. Played 48 games in his career but only recorded 2 INTs and 5 PBU in four seasons.
Has suffered multiple concussions and his physical style makes it likely he suffers more. Tends to get too physical down the field and will be susceptible to penalties in the NFL.
Shamarko Thomas is a physical striker that can play an intimidator role on the back-end. His rocked up build and explosive straight line speed make him like a missile flying around the field. When playing in the box he finds his way through garbage to get to the RB and can finish with power. He takes aggressive angles to the ball and closes space quickly due to his short area explosion. Once he sets his sights on his target he won’t relent until the play is over. In coverage Thomas has the ability to play in multiple zone schemes and has the speed to cover plenty of range on the back-end. Has shown he can deliver some highlight reel hits with his stout, coiled up frame he unleashes a ton of power when making a tackle.
I wish Thomas had more natural ball skills and found a way to get his hands on more passes. His lack of height and length will force him to drop into late day two of the draft. If it takes him time to adjust to NFL safety, he should be able to make an immediate impact on special teams coverage units.