Earl Thomas turned in his third straight great performance of 2018 Sunday. Surely no one still thinks the Seahawks would trade him for a second round pick.
Earl Thomas is playing the best ball of his career so far. He has three interceptions in three games, and has broken up four additional pass receptions. At that pace, he’ll have 16 picks and 21 passes defended. His single season high marks are five interceptions and 11 passes defended. So, yeah, he’s having a pretty good year. Still think the Seahawks should have let him go for a second round pick?
Pro Football Focus ranks Thomas as the best safety in the league. That isn’t much of a surprise. What’s interesting is that according to their ranking system, they see Thomas as playing the best ball of his great career, too. He’s currently ranked at 93.0 points, and his best season to date was 2015. He graded out at 90.6 that year. I think they tend to undervalue Thomas and his ability to control so much of the field. When PFF ranks him this high, you know he’s en fuego!
That’s the long way of saying that Thomas is pretty good. In case you were interested, PFF grades Khalil Mack as the best edge defender. He’s graded at 91.1 points. That’s about his career average, which is ridiculously good. There’s a reason the Chicago Bears gave up two first round picks to get Mack. He’s worth it. And Khalil Mack is definitely germane to this story.
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Mack is worth two first rounders for the simple fact that he’s a known quantity. That’s indisputable, once you look at the numbers. I’m not saying Mack is Lawrence Taylor, but through their first four seasons, Mack is ahead in career sacks 40.5 to 37.5. Yes, that includes Taylor’s 9.5 “unofficial” sacks in his rookie year. I’m not saying Mack is as good as Taylor, but so far, he’s on the path to a Hall of Fame career. Here’s the thing: the average first round pick is nowhere close to a Hall of Fame career. I’ll go in-depth on this in another article, but here is just one example.