Top 5 Safeties: No.1, Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas doesn’t grab your attention like his sharp-tongued teammate Richard Sherman – that’s not his style. One thing Thomas does do, however, is make the type of plays that allow the Legion of Boom to go unchallenged in their crusade to take over the NFL.

The Seahawks free safety is the humble chaperone of the team’s secondary, supervising a group of thumpers who are addicted to making the big play. When Thomas is on the field, there’s no such thing as a hole in the secondary. The two-time All-Pro is the best safety in the NFL, and he doesn’t need to say it to your face to make you recognize.

If there’s a play to be made downfield, oftentimes, you will see Thomas in the mix. Standing at 5´10, 202 pounds, he won’t leave receivers shook with his size, but the dude runs a 4.37 40-yard dash, helping him get to any part of the field with ease. When plays begin to show even an inkling of promise, Thomas definitively ends all hope. Needless to say, his skills leave offenses searching for answers.

“To be such a little guy, he’s always flying all over the field,” Vikings fullback Jerome Felton said. “He plays his game hard. He plays fast. He’s a physical guy.”

Though his 66 tackles are over 30 less than 2011’s return, Thomas made a huge difference in the air with his timely interceptions and blocks. Last season, the ball-hawk racked up a career-high nine passes defended along with three picks. And if there is still concern over his tackling numbers, I suggest looking at the quality of Thomas’s tackles in the video above; namely, the ankle-grabbing putdown he had on a spinning Adrian Peterson.

Thomas doesn’t antagonize opponents like many of the top defensive backs out there. Still, he demands respect with the type of performances he puts in every week.

“Earl is as good as any of the [safeties] I’ve ever coached,” Pete Carroll said . “There’s no end to the potential that Earl has, because he’s so fast and he’s so tough.”

Quite the honor; especially when the remarks are coming from a person who has coached safeties like Ronnie Lott, Lawyer Milloy, Joey Browner and Tim McDonald. Soon enough, Thomas will be ready to be included in that legendary class.