By Mark Gaughan
Position: Strong safety
Measurements: 5-foot-8, 218 pounds
40 time: 4.42 seconds 225-pound bench press: 28 repetitions Broad jump: 11 feet, 1 inch Vertical: 40.5 inches
2012 stats: 12 games, 5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss
Draft projection: Late second to late third round
Lowdown: Thomas is one of the more interesting defensive players on the radar for the second day of the draft, and he is well known to Bills coach Doug Marrone. Thomas draws legitimate comparisons to former Colts Pro Bowler Bob Sanders because of his hell-on-wheels style. He is a versatile strong safety who can play in coverage, and he is a fearless hitter when he defends the run. He is aggressive, and he can blitz. Just like Sanders, Thomas is shorter than NFL teams like for a safety. But he’s powerfully built, and he opened eyes at the NFL Combine with the fastest 40 time among safeties. He also led safeties in the best bench press and tied for the best vertical jump. He started 43 games for the Orange. He was a co-captain as a senior. He lost his mother to a heart condition and his father to a motorcycle accident within a nine-month stretch before the 2010 season. One concern is durability, even though he missed very little time at Syracuse. He did suffer a couple of concussions in his career, and he plays so hard he sustains hits. Sanders managed only two full seasons in his eight-year career.
The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to next month's NFL Draft.
tagged2013 draft | Road to the Draft | Shamarko Thomas