Earl Thomas made an outstanding play on a deflected pass against the Vikings, intercepting the ball and returning it 86 yards for a touchdown.
Thomas is very instinctive and make a great jump on a ball that could have easily fallen incomplete. More than anything, however, Thomas demonstrated just how fast he really is.
If you haven’t watched the replay, it is a must. The amount of field Thomas covers without running in a straight line is almost unbelievable – especially for a defensive back.
Brett Favre took a three-step drop and fired a pass to Bernard Berrian, who was running a quick slant. To be fair – despite good defense by Josh Willson – the ball probably should have been caught. But Berrian, under heavy duress from Wilson, was unable to secure the football and it bounced into the hands of Thomas. Thomas proceeded to return the ball 86 yards in about nine seconds for the score.
Thomas wasn’t running a straight line, he was slightly weaving to avoid offensive players attempting to tackle him. Near the end of his sprint, with the closest opponent over five yards back, he slowed his pace and jogged past the goal line.
I can’t wait to see this guy develop and make plays when the games start to count.
Prior to the draft, Thomas reportedly ran a sub-4.4 forty. His speed is what made him so attractive to scouts; a defensive back who has the instincts of a safety but is fast enough to come down and cover a wide receiver.
Workouts and scouting reports are one thing; watching a guy run from one end of the field to the other in a live-game situation is another. Thomas’ demonstrated speed and quickness is enough to make him first-round talent. Combined with his instincts, Thomas could have All-Pro potential.
No doubt we’ll see a lot more big plays from number twenty-nine.