Jemea Thomas, CB, Georgia Tech (HT: 5’9¼”; WT: 192 lbs)
Sixth Round: 206th Pick
NFL Comparison: Kurt Coleman, Safety, Philadelphia Eagles
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- Able to win at the line of scrimmage when jamming the receiver. He shows a strong initial punch, especially considering his size.
- It is hard to find nickel cornerbacks with the ability to play press, but Thomas’ best results came from press coverages.
- Feisty competitor for the ball, staying very active with his hands as the ball approaches. He’s able to distract the receiver if he’s nearby, causing the occasional dropped pass.
- Low pad level and good balance keeps him bouncy and able to change directions with quick feet. By staying low to the ground, his movements are more compact and make it easier to stop and turn quickly.
- Lined up at safety and slot cornerback for Georgia Tech in 2013, showing versatility and a strong competitive attitude.
- Added value as a special teams contributor after playing well as a return man and gunner. Showed good vision and toughness returning kickoffs.
- Great tackler, especially for a player with his frame. NFL teams want their slot men to play the run game with a hard-nosed attitude, and Thomas is more than capable of making the tackle around the line of scrimmage.
- Good lateral quickness and decent short-area burst help him cover underneath receivers and running backs that release into the flats on routes.
- Below-average height for an NFL defensive back, although he should be able to play slot cornerback.
- Despite being good at press-man coverage, he gets very grabby and holds on the receiver when he loses at the line of scrimmage. He will become a regular target for opposing quarterbacks if he doesn’t improve his recovery ability.
- He will fall asleep in coverage, keeping his eyes locked onto the quarterback and letting the receiver get open behind him. His inability to shadow the receiver and stay aware of the ball is a liability to the defense, as instantly, the safety will need to compensate for an open receiver on the sideline.
- Distance speed is a major concern, as he was burned deep on a few occasions. He’s tough to rely on if playing cover 0 defense, which is without a deep safety to protect him.
- Although he spent time at safety, his instincts are severely lacking when playing deep zone. He doesn’t recognize where the quarterback is looking in time to react and break toward the ball.
- Wanders too much in zone, especially when near the line of scrimmage. He doesn’t recognize routes, so he tends to mirror the quarterback, but he has no idea where the receivers are.
- 2013 Third-Team All-ACC
- 2014 East-West Shrine Bowl participant
- 2012 Second-Team All-ACC
- Tied for first in Georgia Tech’s history for games played (54)
- Former 3-star recruit from Georgia
- Twitter handle is @Heartbreak_mea
- Graduating with a degree in management.
Jemea Thomas is a guy that coaches will love to have on their depth chart. He works harder than most and shows the willingness to contribute however possible. His physical limitations greatly impact his overall ceiling projection, but in a very specific role, he has the chance to stick around the NFL as a depth player. I expect to see Thomas to be selected in the middle of Day 3 of the NFL draft.
Draft Projection: Fifth Round
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