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Void at free safety? Dolphins to look at Thomas

Gibril Wilson was a bust so he's gone. Antrel Rolle and Ryan Clark didn't feel enough love from Miami's bank vault. Restricted free agency hasn't been an answer for Miami's free safety issues and neither Tyrone Culver nor Chris Clemons are probably the answer, either.

No wonder the Dolphins have scheduled a visit with Texas free safety Earl Thomas for the first week of April.

Thomas, considered by some scouts to be the second-best safety prospect behind Tennessee's Eric Berry, should be available when the Dolphins are scheduled to pick at No. 12 but won't be around for their second-round selection. So the Dolphins are obviously impressed enough with this playmaker to consider him as a first-round selection.

This does not mean Thomas will be Miami's first-round selection. The club will meet with nearly three dozen players between now and the draft.

But Miami's obvious need at free safety combined with Thomas' resume suggests the pairing could work.

NFL.com draft analyst Mike Mayock has called Thomas "the most instinctive" defensive back in this draft. The knock on Thomas is that he's perhaps smallish and that he is, after all, coming out after his sophomore season so he is a puppy.

All that is well and fine as I'm trying to paint the full picture of the positives and negatives on the player, But consider Thomas is 5-10 1/2 and weighed in at 208 pounds at the combine so he's gained about 10 pounds since the season ended. And if you think that weight gain was done by eating Whoppers, you're wrong. Thomas ran a 4.45 at the combine. As for not being strong, he benched 225 pounds 21 times -- which was two more than top safety prospect Eric Berry.

"I'm physical, versatile, and like I said, I played corner and safety," Thomas said during the Indianapolis Combine last month. "[I'm a] hard- worker. I'm not looking to come in and just sit back and watch. I'm looking to make an impact right now as soon as I get there."

Thomas made an impact at Texas, recording 10 interceptions in 26 career starts. He returned two of those interceptions for touchdowns.

One thing the Dolphins would love about this kid is he's a fine player but also a fine person. He was on the honor roll in high school and is an active member of the Christian church in which his grandfather was the pastor. 
 

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