Photo Credit: Auburn Athletics
With the 157th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Auburn safety Daniel Thomas.
In 2019, Thomas totaled 74 tackles (5.5 for loss) and was honored with an All-SEC second team selection. Thomas finished his Auburn career with 199 total tackles and five interceptions.
At the NFL Combine, Thomas ran a 4.51 40-yard dash and totaled 24 reps on the bench press.
Thomas is a box-to-box safety at the next level. Although you can’t trust him much in the deep half, the value provided as a box-to-box safety is clear.
On first look, Thomas has the body of a pro. At 5-feet-10 and 215 pounds, Thomas is muscular and built what you want out of an NFL player. On the field, Thomas is strong in run support with courage to play it well. When he spots a player, he’s a heat seeking missile with the ability to get right to the ballcarrier and blow plays up.
Not only will Thomas earn playtime as a safety, he has the traits to play special teams. With his size, speed and demeanor, Thomas is capable of contributing on each part of special teams and make the impact when necessary.
Unheralded three-star recruit who was a late scholarship offer at Auburn, but became a consistent back-end contributor. He’s well-built and plays physical football, but he’s not necessarily a punisher. He has a good burst downhill into run support duties, but can be a little inconsistent with his angles. -Lance Zierlein, NFL Network
How will Thomas be deployed in the defensive backfield? With his ability to cover tight ends, the possibility of him playing as a “big nickel”, where he guards tight ends. Expect Thomas to make the impact on special teams and as a box-to-box safety immediately with the potential to be deployed in different situations when necessary.