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Old 03-22-2013, 09:21 PM   #31
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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Steelers Showing Interest In Fresno State Safety Phillip Thomas

Mar 22nd, 2013 by Dominic Di Tolla



Fresno State University held their annual Pro Day on Wednesday afternoon.

When I read that free safety Phillip Thomas performed well during his workout session, I wondered whether or not the Steelers would show interest in the promising prospect.

Luckily for me, my question was answered earlier today by Ricardo Cano of “The Collegian” (Fresno State’s student newspaper).

According to Cano, Thomas (6’1″ 208 lbs.) is scheduled to meet with members of Pittsburgh’s brass at some point before “Draft Weekend.”

At least to me, it comes as no surprise that the Steelers scheduled an interview session with the former Bulldog. As most know, the franchise is in need some sort of viable “transition strategy” to install when the time comes for veterans Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark to retire.

Long-time backup Ryan Mundy signed with the Giants earlier this month, veteran Will Allen remains unsigned, and 2012 UDFA Robert Golden is the only player behind the starters with any experience.

Although Phillip is considered to be one of the 2013 draft class’ top safety prospects, the last two years were anything but a cake-walk for him. In fact, heading into the 2012 season, many wondered how well and how much he would be able to play.

After a productive 2010 campaign (64 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions), Thomas unfortunately sustained a leg injury right before the 2011 season began. The injury was a major blow to Fresno State and Thomas, and the safety was shelved for the entire year due to his broken fibula and high ankle sprain.

To his credit, Thomas not only fought back from his devastating injury, but he was named a Jim Thorpe Award finalist for his stellar play in 2012. Overall, Thomas started all 13 of the Bulldogs’ games and led the team in tackles (84), tackles for loss (12.0), and interceptions (8) (led the entire FBS-level). In addition to those numbers, Phillip tied for the team lead in forced fumbles (4), and finished second in passes defended (13), and tied for second in Sacks (4.0).

The aspect of Thomas’ game that I like the most is the fact that he is a ball-hawking safety who displayed the ability to make “splash plays.” Over his career (3 years), Phillip snatched 13 interceptions, forced 6 fumbles, and even scored 3 touchdowns last year. Although Thomas is a bit of a “risk-taker” on the back end, his ability to force turnovers is something that Pittsburgh’s Defense could desperately stand to use.

In addition to his ball-skills, Thomas is an accomplished blitzer and “in-the-box” player too. During his career, Phillip racked up 17.0 tackles for loss to go along with the 4.0 sacks he made during the 2012 campaign. If he is selected by Pittsburgh, I am sure that Defensive Backs Coach Carnell Lake, one of the League’s best at said craft during his career, will be pleased to utilize the youngster’s skill-set in that area.

One of the biggest questions that surrounds Thomas (outside of durability after his freak injury) deals with his straight-line speed. While some scouts might be concerned with that part of his game, Phillip was able to at least improve upon his Combine time in the 40 yard dash (4.65 seconds) at his Pro Day when he recorded an impressive time of 4.53.

If Pittsburgh selects Thomas, I can actually envision the Coaching Staff playing him at strong safety instead of free safety. Due to his toughness and ability to help out deep and “in-the-box,” Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau could use Phillip in a number of different facets like Polamalu has been during his Hall of Fame career. Due to Thomas’ versatile skill-set, he has the potential to be an effective weapon for LeBeau and Lake to utilize all over the field.

In the event that Colbert & Co. do not draft a Safety in Round 1, I believe that Thomas would be a solid player for the Steelers to target in the late-2nd/early 3rd-Round. A year of development on Special Teams and in sub-packages would benefit the young safety greatly. This would provide Thomas time to adjust to the speed of the pro game, and give him adequate time to learn LeBeau’s “complex” defense.

Regardless of whether or not Pittsburgh’s brass believe that Thomas is “their guy,” Colbert & Co. are more than likely to select at least one safety prospect during “Draft Weekend” next month.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2013/03/22...hillip-thomas/
This guy is a viable option. I don't know about the 2nd round with his recent injury history, but I like this kid. I could see him being around at the end of the 3rd or early 4th round. 1st round skill with a 4th round pick would be a steal.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:24 PM   #32
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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This guy is a viable option. I don't know about the 2nd round with his recent injury history, but I like this kid. I could see him being around at the end of the 3rd or early 4th round. 1st round skill with a 4th round pick would be a steal.
I would take him if he's there at our 3rd round selection, don't think he'll make it to our 4th.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:27 PM   #33
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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I would take him if he's there at our 3rd round selection, don't think he'll make it to our 4th.
I'm just throwing out a dream hypothetical!
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:54 PM   #34
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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I'm just throwing out a dream hypothetical!
I completely understand, I have dream hypotheticals all of the time.

only thing is, Philip Thomas is never in them...

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:58 PM   #35
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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I completely understand, I have dream hypotheticals all of the time.

only thing is, Philip Thomas is never in them...

She's hot, but can she cover Gronk in man to man?
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:07 PM   #36
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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She's hot, but can she cover Gronk in man to man?
probably not, but I'll bet she can distract the hell out of him...
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:58 PM   #37
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

So, as of now, based on our discussions in this thread, the consensus seems to be:

R1: Vaccaro
R2: Lemonier
R3: a tall pass-catcher
R4: Philip Thomas
R5: Asian hottie who looks 16, but is actually 18 (she's 18, right?)

Really though, if it's those four players, I think that it would be an extremely good draft. It provides: the safety tandem that I want; the pass-rusher to replace Harrison; and, a red-zone weapon.

Now, with that said, I think that Thomas goes early R3 (at the latest)... but, if we're going to dream, we might as well dream big... (which brings us back full-circle to the R5 pick).
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:13 AM   #38
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

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R5: Asian hottie who looks 16, but is actually 18 (she's 18, right?)
yes officer, she's definitely 18.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:43 AM   #39
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

"Safeties aplenty" was a bad thread title. Sounds like something a pirate would say.

"Safeties in Numbers" would have been a lot catchier imo. I am dismayed that so many people responded to a poorly titled thread. You people need to expect more. Start posting the thread titles I deserve!
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:46 AM   #40
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Default Re: Safeties aplenty; safeties galore

NFLDRAFTSCOUT.COM

Pro Days: Fresno State, SDSU DBs catching attention

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
March 20, 2013

Representatives of 19 NFL teams traveled to Fresno State on Wednesday in large part to see if All-America free safety Phillip Thomas and record-breaking running back Robbie Rouse could improve upon their combine performances.

Each was able to do so.

Thomas, a Thorpe Award finalist who led the country with eight interceptions in 2012, shaved more than a tenth-of-a-second off of his combine time in the 40-yard dash, clocking in at 4.53-seconds, according to multiple sources. Thomas had been timed at 4.65-seconds in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis.

Thomas also showed great fluidity and ball skills during positional drills orchestrated by a member of the New England Patriots.

The workout may have been even more important for the short (but not small) Rouse, who registered a disappointing 4.80-seconds in the 40-yard dash after measuring in at 5-feet-5 (3/8), 190 pounds in Indianapolis.

While clearly shorter than scouts would prefer, Rouse is a powerfully-built runner whose vertical and lateral burst helped him generate a school-record 4,647 rushing yards over his career.

Rouse was clocked at a much more respectable 4.57-seconds in the 40-yard dash Wednesday, perhaps pushing him back into the draft. Regardless of whether he's drafted or not, Rouse's game-tape speaks for itself. He'll get an opportunity and will prove to be a tough cut for an NFL team due to his natural elusiveness and surprising power.

"The 40 [yard dash] that I ran at the combine was definitely not what I wanted to run and for me to come out here and run the 4.5 that I wanted was definitely a goal that I set," Rouse said. "It felt good to get it."

Some of the scouts on hand for Wednesday's workout at Fresno State had traveled from San Diego State's campus a day earlier where a number of former Aztecs had worked out.

While the most well-known defensive back at the workout was SDSU's all-conference pick Leon McFadden, the Senior Bowl standout largely stood on his numbers from the combine, though he did register a 34.5-inch vertical jump.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/b...hing-attention
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