While perusing the internet and reading about the 2013 Draft, instead of doing anything on my to-do-list, I stumbled across an intriguing prospect: Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse (#21). Seattle has already had success with Earl Thomas, so why not bring in another Thomas to back him up?
Thomas is listed at a bantam 5'9" but fairly respectable 217lbs. He is short, but thick with a solid frame, very similar to that other Thomas in Seattle. While we're talking quantitatively I'll throw this other number out and see what you think of it; 4.39. Yes, that's 4.39 seconds for Thomas to run 40 yards. Hmm yet another similarity to Earl? With 31 and 3/4" arms he would have tied for fourth longest arms of defensive backs at the Senior Bowl had he been in attendance. Considering his height, this is an impressive feat. Not only does Thomas have solid numbers, he translates his numbers effectively onto the field.
With a short, compact frame weighing 217 lbs that can move at sub 4.4 speed, a physicists would be able to hypothesize that this kid can hit. Guess what? He can. Not only can he get to the ball in a hurry, he does an excellent job of breaking down and delivering hit that consistently knocks the ball carrier back or to the side depending on what angle Thomas is hitting them at. Basically, Thomas can bring the wood but another thing he does well is get his unusually long arms for his size around the ball carrier, grab some cloth, and bring them down. With the amount of guys these days that launch themselves at ball carriers without wrapping up, it was a pleasant surprise to see a guy consistently wrap up while still delivering a substantial blow.
His speed and hitting ability help Thomas play the run quite effectively and helped him put up some solid tackle numbers at Syracuse leading his team in the category in 2012. Additionally he has played fairly consistently since his freshman year showing progression each season and taking on larger and larger roles in the Syracuse secondary. Although he can produce tackles, he didn't produce an interception until his senior year when he was able to haul in three passes from opposing quarterbacks. Tally up three forced fumbles and he finished his senior season with six total turnovers. Where Thomas shines in pursuit and tackling, he gives up a bit in coverage and ball skills. That being said, there is much, much more to like about Thomas.
Shamarko Thomas Syracuse University Highlight film (via Chris McKenzie)
The Man Underneath The Helmet:
Although I was at first intrigued by Thomas' speed and tackling, after watching his interview (posted below) I knew I had to do a write up on him. Seriously, who does he remind you of? Maybe another guy we drafted last year who "doesn't let his height define his skill set"? Strong work ethic, leader, faced adversity, lives his life by sage advice from his parents... I'd be surprised if he isn't on the Seahawks radar.
Even though he has some pretty impressive intangibles, it's clear he has a bit of swagger that every DB needs to play for Seattle. Sure this may be controversial to some, but hasn't it worked? What would the Legion of Boom be without that swagger and attitude that produces the talk that is bested only by their walk? Watching Thomas' film you see him not only make big plays, but makes sure his opponent knows it. Seems like he would fit pretty well in Seattle.
Shamarko Thomas Orange Profile (via suorangefootball)
Shamarko and The Seahawks:
Seattle has been searching for a legitimate back up for Earl for awhile now. Not only do Shamarko and Earl share the same last name, they have quite similar playing styles and personalities on the field. I could see Shamarko Thomas being drafted for depth at safety, but additionally he brings the speed and versatility to push for time at Nickel. Not to mention with his combination of speed and tackling ability he has special teams ace written all over him. So by drafting Thomas Seattle could potential fill holes in three spots:
1) Earl's back up. Lets face it Maragos is a great guy but lacks the speed to back up someone like ET.
2) Someone to push for time at the Nickel. Tru is losing a step and none of the young guys have proven themselves enough to garner the title of starting nickel.
3) Special Teamer. JS/PC always like the ST guys and if Thomas needs more time to develop as a DB he can always contribute on ST until he further develops his coverage and ball skills.
Shamarko Thomas and the 2013 Draft:
This is where things get really good for all you 12's. Shamarko Thomas is flying very under the radar... Most draft analysts have him going somewhere in the 6th or 7th round or even going undrafted. This is exactly the range that Seattle has a knack for finding those hidden gems. I could potentially see Seattle "reaching" for him in the 5th round.
Bottom line Shamarko Thomas fits the Seahawks mold to a "T". (Yea that's right I put the period outside of the quotations... it makes more logical sense that way... deal with it... but don't do it on an essay for school) I foresee Seattle being intrigued by his Speed and Physicality enough to want to further investigate him. After they sit down with him and chat for a bit they will gobble him up hook, line, and sinker.
Although Thomas looks good in Orange, I think he'd look a helluva lot better in Blue and Green... and maybe Wolf Grey.
In an effort to keep this short and sweet I'm not going to divulge anymore thoughts or quandaries and save any that may arise for discussion the the comments.Thanks for reading, now comment!
(BTW This was my first FanPost woohoo!)