The Washington Redskins surprised people by picking a tight end and not a free safety in the third round of the draft Friday night, and some Redskins fans said they wished the team had taken safety Phillip Thomas in that spot. Well, it turns out the Redskins were right to wait, because Thomas was still there in the fourth round, where the Redskins selected him with the draft's 119th overall pick.
Thomas is a candidate to win the vacant starting free safety job for the Redskins this year. And while that may sound odd to say about a fourth-round rookie, the Redskins have no other strong candidates and this draft is deep at safety. Scouts Inc. rated Thomas the No. 7 safety in this year's draft, and he was the 12th one drafted.
The book on Thomas says he may be a bit undersized and has had some injury issues, but that he reads quarterbacks well and makes good decisions in coverage that help him make plays on the ball. Sounds a lot like what the Redskins need at that free safety spot, and the fact that they were able to get their kind of safety late in the fourth round has to be counted as a victory for Mike Shanahan and the Redskins as they work to fill the remaining holes on their roster without the benefit of cap space.