I would temper your expectations.
this is a 4th round pick we are talking about.
I think he may have trouble covering those TEs in the middle of the field. They might throw it over the top of him.
I think Thomas is a player and steelers need him to be after Troy and Clark it is scary
We'll see if I'm right or wrong. Who knows for sure. Carnell said if he were 2 inches taller, he'd have gone in the first round. He also didn't seem concerned with his height given his 40 inch vertical. Even with many TEs being 6-8" taller, he's probably out jumping them by 8-10 inches.
You know me, I tend to get overhyped over most everything. But this is the 1 kid I wanted out of the entire draft. I think he's the real deal and might enable our whole D to work in the post Troy era.
Starting to impress me. We basically got a safety that is first round grade then..? Or should have?
Round 1, Pick 25 (25): Artie Burns, CB; Miami
Round 2, Pick 27 (58 ): Sean Davis, S; Maryland
Round 3, Pick 26 (89): Javon Hargrave, DT; South Carolina State
Round 4, Pick 25 (123): Jerald Hawkins, OT; LSU
Round 6, Pick 45 (220) (Compensatory Selection): Travis Feeney, OLB; Washington
Round 7, Pick 8 (229) (From Giants): DeMarcus Ayers, WR; Houston
Round 7, Pick 25 (246): Tyler Matakevich, OLB; Temple
Steelers Draft Evaluation: S Shamarko Thomas
By Neal Coolong on Apr 29 2013
Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas is a passionate player who may have to refine his tackling technique and press coverage to avoid penalties in the NFL. But as Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says, it's better to say "woah" than "hurry up."
It's like a navy and orange blur has magnetic attraction to the ball when watching Syracuse's Shamarko Thomas play football.
The Steelers' fourth round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft - the one they acquired through a trade with the Cleveland Browns for a third round pick next year - has the recklessness of a strong safety with the discipline of a free safety. Wherever he lines up - and there are plenty examples showing him around the line of scrimmage as well as in deep coverage - he finds his way to the ball.
In Syracyse's 14-13 win over Pitt this past season, Thomas was brought in to cover slot receivers and tight ends alike, and showed at times a strong ability to get a ball carrier to the ground. He plays low to the ground when coming up on a runner and in the open field. Pursuing them at an angle, he tends to stay a bit high, and Panthers tight end Mike Shanahan taught him why that's not a good idea.
Shanahan, a 6-foot-5, 225 pound mammoth, got a little bit lower than Thomas expected, causing Thomas to bounce head first off his shoulder. It appeared Thomas was knocked unconscious for a brief moment. It happened later in the game, and Thomas wouldn't return.
It's all in the name of football, though. He would lay similar hits on the Orange's next opponent, Rutgers, showing a level of toughness that is reminiscent of the Steelers' legacy.
Earlier in 2012, in Syracuse's second game of the year at USC, Thomas had one of this best highlights. In a fourth and short situation, Thomas flashed from a deep safety spot into the A gap right along with a defensive lineman to stop the Trojans' running back for a loss. He attacked the gap like a fullback, showing outstanding recognition skills and fearlessness.
He gets a tad high again against a Trojans tight end on an incomplete pass, but this time, gets him under his arm, knocking him to the ground. It'd be a borderline flag in the NFL, and while obviously he has to watch that kind of play at the next level, as Mike Tomlin says, he's rather say "Woah" than "Hurry up."
Thomas is a "Woah" kind of player. He plays passionately, but he's in control of himself too. He was matched up with USC receiver (and second round pick of the Buffalo Bills) Robert Woods outside the numbers, and Thomas did an excellent job of riding Woods toward the sideline while still locating the ball. It went to the front pylon, where Woods, who had been driven out of bounds, was nowhere close to making the play.
The knock on him will come in his ability to cover, but he does an adequate job in short zone due to his strength and wingspan. He isn't afraid to jam receivers at the line and ride them off their route. He should probably expect a more watchful officiating eye in the NFL as far as contact with receivers goes, but what he may give up in height he can make up in route disruption.
It's likely he'll get work at both safety positions, with his strength being at or around the line of scrimmage. He can attack downhill, much like starting free safety Ryan Clark does against the run, but in a Cover 2 look - which Syracuse played often enough, he will struggle against over the top throws outside the numbers.
He may not make a play on the ball, but rest assured, he's going to make the receiver earn the big catch.
I was listening to sports radio in Charlotte and out of nowhere a guru says Shamrko was the best pick in the draft. The perfect pick for the Steelers, etc....
The only reasons that I could find for his drop is the lack of ideal height (which Elam shares) and a history of concussions (not the best thing in the world for a guy who throws around his body like a heat-seeking missile). I'm excited about the pick, but want to temper expectations a bit, because we have been burned by a hard-hitting safety before (Anthony Smith). All signs point to Shamarko being a responible guy (taking over as the head of household for his 5 younger siblings after the untimely deaths of their parents) rather than a knucklehead like Killswitch, though, so that's promising. Since Carnell was the ultimate utility DB (played LB in college, was a dominant safety in the NFL, and filled in at CB when Woodson was hurt), he's an awesome mentor for Shamarko, who will hopefull get the best out of him.
I wanted the team to follow-up its pick of Shamarko Thomas a hard-hitting little ball of hate at SS in round 4 to back up Troy with another safety named Thomas...a ball-hawking center-fielder of a FS with our second round 4 pick in Fresno State's Philip Thomas to back up Clark. I think that would have been a better pick than Landry Jones at that stage of the draft (Philip Thomas was taken by the Redskins 4 spots after we took Landry Jones). I'm surprised that we didn't address a back-up free safety as well (perhaps they are higher on Robert Golden than I thought). They could have brought in Oklahoma FS Tony Jefferson as an UDFA even, but did not.
1. CB Sidney Jones, Washington 6'0" 181
2. FS Budda Baker, Washington 5'10" 192
3. OLB Tyus Bowser, Houston 6'2" 244
4. ILB Connor Harris, Lindenwood 5'11 241
5. RB James Conner, Pittsburgh 6'2" 240
5c. TE Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas 6'5" 256
6. QB Chad Kelly, Mississippi 6'2" 224
7. WR Demore'ea Stringfellow, Mississippi 6'2" 212
7c. DE Collin Bevins, Northwest Missouri State 6'5" 286
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I believe that they like Golden a lot...
Only concern with Thomas is health. The way he plays and his past history indicates concussions are a real risk. He may be at risk to miss games with the way the new rules regarding concussions are handled.