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2011 NFL Draft Picks: Cowboys Select Josh Thomas, CB, Buffalo - Dallas Finally Addresses The Secondary

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With the 143rd pick overall (12th in the 5th round), the Dallas Cowboys selected cornerback Josh Thomas from Buffalo. He looks to be an under-sized corner who makes up for it in aggressiveness. Most predict he's an ideal nickel corner.

From our SB Nation blog for Buffalo, Bull Run, comes this article which is a good read. Check it out. A sample:

Josh Thomas is easily one of the most athletic corner backs in the draft. On paper hes a bit on the small side but hit vertical, his foot speed, and his nose for the ball helped him distinguish himself on a defense with other all all conference performers.

Thomas always plays with attitude, he is a very aggressive corner who never shies away from contact. While he is an exceptional cover corner what sets him apart is how he takes care of the run despite his small frame.

[...]

Thomas is not big enough to go up against some of the taller NFL receivers, this most comes across when asked to jam them at the line. Trusts his speed too much at times and takes poor angles to the ball, this works in the college level but most NFL receivers can make him pay for this.

More...

CBS Sports:

Thomas started 22 of his final 24 games and relentlessly slammed himself into blockers as a run defender (103 tackles, 7.5 for loss in addition to his interception and 17 pass break-ups in 2009-2010). His aggressive nature can get him into trouble, and he struggles when asked to play press man coverage against bigger receivers. His size limitations aren't going away, and they'll hurt his draft stock, but he's shown enough as a balanced player who moves fluidly and possesses adequate recovery speed to warrant consideration as a sub-package corner with potential as a nickel coverage player in the NFL.

 

Wes Bunting:

Love his toughness and willingness to tackle in the run game.Showcases good force when asked to attack downhill, isn't afraid to create collisions on contact when taking on a lead blocker and works hard to fight his way off contact. Fights and scraps for every inch and does a nice job throwing his body around inside the box. Now, doesn't consistently break down and will get a bit out of control at times, but at least showcases the fight to help out in the run game.

Impression: A bit raw in some aspects of the game, but his balance, body control, speed, fluidity and toughness are all traits that will serve him well. I like his upside enough to consider him a potential nickel/dime guy in the NFL.

Buffalo Pro Day report from NFL Draft Scout:

Buffalo Pro day: Buffalo CB Josh Thomas is doing everything he can, in front of anybody he can, to prove he belongs in the NFL. At the school’s pro day held March 10 indoors on FieldTurf, Thomas, who was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine last month, put together a solid workout in front of representatives from 14 teams. Thomas (5-foot-10 5/8, 192 pounds) ran the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds, had a 40-inch vertical and a 10-8 broad jump, ran a 6.89 3-cone drill, and stood on his short shuttle time and bench-press repetitions. Thomas already has had a private workout with the Patriots, and he is scheduled to visit the Bills, Eagles and Jaguars before the draft. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com

An article on Thomas:

"He’s a guy who could be your nickel as a fifth- or sixth-round pick," ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said in a conference call earlier this month.

Interview with Thomas.