Syracuse strong safety Shamarko Thomas' 2013 NFL combine performance may be forever remembered for his epic face plant. The fact of the matter is, Thomas left scouts with much more to think about rather than how well he eats dirt.
Let's break down how Thomas actually fared at the combine.
With blazing speed, overpowering strength and limitless leaping ability, Thomas put on a show for the scouts, general managers and coaches in attendance. He did so by ranking in the top five by position in four of the five drills he performed.
That includes the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump and broad jump.
So let's go down to it.
How did Thomas fare in each individual event? Furthermore, how much has he improved his draft stock as a result of his execution?
Most importantly, where might he go?
40-Yard Dash: 4.42 Seconds
Thomas obliterated the field of safeties, completing his 40-yard dash in a time of 4.42 seconds. That was the fastest time posted by any safety at the combine.
This was a display of what Thomas is all about on the football field.
The former Syracuse Orange standout attacks the ball at blazing speeds and collides with receivers and running backs with reckless abandon. This is what makes Thomas such an intriguing prospect.
With his burning speed proven at the combine, we could see this strong safety move up many draft boards. Fortunately for Thomas, speed isn't all he has to offer.
It's far from it.
Bench Press: 28 Reps
After leading all safeties in the 40-yard dash, Thomas was at it again with the bench press. He performed 28 reps and fell just four short of the position's all time record.
More importantly, Thomas led all safeties—again.
This is what scouts needed to see from Thomas, as he proved that he is much more than just a fast runner. Thomas is a powerful player that possesses a rare combination of brute force and open field speed.
Once again, Thomas wasn't finished.
Vertical Jump: 40.5 Inches
You may think I'm making this up, but I'm not. During the vertical jump, Thomas again topped his position.
Thomas and LSU's Eric Reid tied for first at their position with respective 40.5-inch verticals.
This offers hope for scouts in attendance that they have found a capable defender when facing the pass. With speed, strength and vertical leaping ability, Thomas has proven that he can handle anything thrown his way from a physical perspective.
If you still don't believe it, check the final workout.
Broad Jump: 133.0 inches
For once, Thomas did not finish first at his position during a combine drill. Instead, he finished in second.
Thomas's 11'1" broad jump was right behind Eric Reid of LSU and Earl Wolff of North Carolina State. Reid and Wolff tied for first at 11'2"—just one inch further than Thomas.
In case you aren't getting the picture, Thomas proved to be one of the most physically gifted players in this draft class. While he may not have established himself as the best player at his position, Thomas went a long way towards defining his upside.
Scouts, general managers and coaches have taken notice of Thomas—and not because of a face plant.
All statistics and information provided by NFL.com.
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