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Phillip Thomas: Video Highlights for Former Fresno State Free Safety

Old AccountSenior Writer IDecember 13, 2016

Phillip Thomas: Video Highlights for Former Fresno State Free Safety

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    Phillip Thomas has made a name for himself around the National Football League after putting fear into every quarterback he faced last season.

    After leading the nation with eight interceptions, Thomas is ready to take his ball-hawking skills to the pros, where he will likely be taken within the first few rounds.

    What makes Thomas so great? Here are a few of the most notable highlights from the last few years of his collegiate career. 



    NOTE:   Thomas was selected in the 4th round by the Washington Redskins.

Impressive One-Handed Grab for the Interception

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    It didn't take me too long to become impressed with the skills of Phillip Thomas. This interception that Thomas managed to add to his highlight real is quite impressive.

    First, Thomas engaged in a physical battle with the receiver for the placement of the football. While the receiver did get behind him, Thomas was in position to at least have a chance at coming up with the football.

    It got more difficult from there. Thomas bobbled the ball and only maintained possession for about a second before tripping over the opposing receiver.

    In the end, that didn't matter. His instincts and balance are one reason why he can make an impact at the next level.

Acrobatic Interception While Staying Inbounds

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    After impressing me with that first interception, he managed to outdo that performance by forcing another turnover in the same game.

    This time, his closing speed was fun to watch, as he quickly jumped in front of the receiver and picked up his second interception of the game.

    As he made the interception, one could tell that he would not be given much time to gain full possession of the football and keep both feet inbounds. Yet, he certainly did just that, and made it look like a routine play.

An Easy Interception for a Defensive Touchdown

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    With the amount of turnovers that Phillip Thomas forced, it would only be a matter of time until one of them would become a noticeable defensive touchdown.

    This proved to be the case here, as the quarterback made this pick-six too easy for Thomas. He quickly jumped right in front of the defender and showed no hesitation after catching the ball, proceeding to take it the other way with ease.

Bit Hit on Receiver Against Tulsa

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    Thomas has been known for his acrobatic interceptions and electrifying speed while on his way to scoring touchdowns. 

    However, Thomas has shown his ability to impose his will on receivers who challenge him downfield. Unfortunately, Tulsa learned that the hard way. Although it did count as a penalty, no team should worry about Thomas' lack of toughness.

Sack Against Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota

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    As safeties continued to be utilized in blitz packages across the NFL, Thomas' ability to be an effective defensive back in a blitz is an impressive trait.

    He put his talents on display once again, but this time against the high-octane offense of the Oregon Ducks.

    Thomas managed to break through the offensive line and lay a punishing sack on quarterback Marcus Mariota.

    This stood out not only because Oregon's offensive line is more than adequate, but also because Mariota is a decisive decision-maker who typically uses his athleticism to avoid sacks.

    Though, he didn't stand a chance against Thomas this time around.

Fresno St. Pro Day

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    Thomas' pro day simply gave us more of an assurance of the high-caliber talent that this electrifying safety can become at the next level.

    This short clip highlights Thomas' 40-yard dash, which seemed to be faster than the 4.59 he apparently ran (per NFLDraftScout.com). 

    His speed was also tested in the three-cone drill, where scouts try to see how effective his speed can be after constantly changing directions during the drill.

    Ultimately, his collegiate career proved to be one that contained plenty of exciting plays, and this success will likely translate into becoming a day-two pick on draft week.

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