03/07/2012 - Two SEC standouts I was surprised wasn't invited to the Combine showed that perhaps they should have been with strong workouts, Tuesday. Safety Tramain Thomas measured in a shade under 6-0 (5-11 7/8) and 200 pounds. He was clocked at 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash and posted a 38.5" vertical jump. Inside linebacker Jerry Franklin (6-1, 242 pounds) Franklin was not invited to the Combine but was clocked at 4.60 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a 6.90 second time in the three-cone drill and a 37.5" vertical jump. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
A three-year starter, Thomas was a two-star receiver/defensive back recruit out of high school, choosing Arkansas over Arizona, Baylor and Houston. He moved to safety in 2008 as a true freshman and saw action in all 12 games with 1 start, recording 28 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss and 2 pass break-ups. Thomas missed four games in 2009 as a sophomore, but earned more playing time with 4 starts, finishing with 32 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble and 3 interceptions (including 1 for a score).
He started every game in 2010 as a junior (13 starts), recording 83 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, five pass breakups, four forced fumbles and a team-best four interceptions, earning second-team All-SEC honors. Thomas had his most productive season in 2011 as a senior (13 starts), finishing second on the team with 91 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, six pass breakups, one forced fumble and a team-best five interceptions.
Thomas was a productive high school quarterback who was recruited as a defensive back and wideout and had a much needed productive senior season in 2011 to put himself in the discussion to be drafted in April. He is too inconsistent as a tackler, missing too many open-field opportunities and was even pulled from games for his ineffectiveness. Thomas has only average size and speed, but plays fast with an attacking, aggressive attitude and good timing to make a play on the ball -- intriguing athlete with upside, but still has a long way to go before he is ready for the next level mentally.
Strengths: Has smooth body control with the fluid ability to plant and redirect in any direction. Plays fast and decisive, arriving to the play with fierce intentions and looks to separate ball from player. Has a knack for creating turnovers with 12 interceptions and six forced fumbles over his career, leading the team in picks each of the past three seasons. Shows good awareness, following the eyes of the quarterback and breaking on the ball with excellent quickness -- jumps routes aggressively to get his hands on the ball. Swarms to the ball and gives up his body in run support. Physical striker and productive tackler. Has good starting experience with 31 career starts, lining up all over the defense. Durable and toughed-out injuries.
Weaknesses: Undersized with a lean frame and little room to get too much bigger -- smaller body type might not be able to hold up at the next level. A one-speed player with ordinary explosion and acceleration. Needs to do a better job breaking down in space and in tight areas -- streaky tackler and falls off ballcarriers too often. Very raw from a technique and instinct standpoint, still learning the nuances of the secondary. Overaggressive, taking too many chances for the big play. Doesn't look comfortable in his backpedal and is better with the action in front of him.
NFL Comparison: DeJon Gomes, Washington Redskins
-- Dane Brugler