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Road to the Draft: Shamarko Thomas

By Mark Gaughan

Shamarko Thomas

Position: Strong safety
School: Syracuse
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.



2013 draft | Road to the Draft | Shamarko Thomas
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |