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Phillip Thomas

Washington Redskins

Strong Safety


Fresno State

Strength: Phillip Thomas shows excellent decision making skills about when to go for an interception. Phillip Thomas has big hands and catches the ball very well. Phillip Thomas makes a lot of tackles in the backfield and at the line. Phillip Thomas is good at separating ball carriers from the ball. Phillip Thomas has excellent speed for a strong safety. Phillip Thomas has plus coverage skills as a strong safety. Phillip Thomas is seemingly always around the ball at the end of a play. Phillip Thomas has a reputation as an intelligent player with good football instincts. Phillip Thomas shows excellent field vision while returning interceptions.
Weakness: Phillip Thomas missed a season because of leg injuries. Phillip Thomas has little special teams experience. Phillip Thomas is a little undersized for a safety. Phillip Thomas doesn't have great open-field speed. Phillip Thomas doesn't have ideal strength for a safety. Phillip Thomas has some open-field tackling technique issues.
Development: He is not an ideal defensive back athlete, but he more than makes up for whatever he lacks in raw physical skill with football intelligence and great instincts. His lack of measurables dropped him quite a bit in the draft, while his consistent game-altering production suggests that a lot of teams are going to regret letting him slip by. He is somewhat raw in many technical aspects of the game, from coverage assignments to run stuffing assignments and approaches, but his natural instincts made him a dominate college strong safety anyways. His instincts should transition immediately to the NFL as a guy who will make a lot of big plays and force a lot of turnovers, but he's going to need a lot of work on the technical side of the game in order to avoid big mistakes. His instincts and size seem to lend themselves more naturally to the free safety position, but you cannot ignore his comfort level and his extreme production level as a strong safety in college. His man coverage skills are already on the plus side for an NFL free safety. So he should be able to handle both positions in the NFL once he makes the technical aspects of playing safety as much a part of his instinctual makeup as his ball and running play read skills. While he lacks elite speed, he has the agility and quickness of a cornerback and should be able to handle man coverage against most tight ends and running backs. He could even see some nickel time against wide receivers, some day. In the mean time, expect Phillip Thomas to miss a few coverage assignments and a few big tackles here and there early in his career, but to still be more of a big play asset than liability in every aspect of the game right from the start of his career.
Fantasy Football Rating: Should produce turnovers and tackles for losses regularly when starting.
Typecast Outlook Opinion: Always productive, instinctual, big-play football player with minor athletic deficiencies and raw technical skills. Impact football player.

Next 2013 Rookie: Chris Thompson's SMSG scouting report.
Go back to Redskins 2013 Rookies List.


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