Ravens safety Earl Thomas is No.75 on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2020 list

After making the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players list for seven straight years from 2012 to 2018, Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas had his streak snapped after suffering a broken leg early on in the 2018 season as a member of the Seattle Seahawks and was left off the 2019 list. However, following a smashing success of a first-year with the Ravens, the seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro is back where he belongs according to his peers and was the third Raven revealed on the premiere night of this year’s list.

Even though he was sporting different colors and playing on the opposite side of the country in a different division and conference altogether, Thomas was still the same difference-maker and offensive game disrupter that he has been throughout his Hall of Fame worthy career.

“He’s always around the ball and making plays and that’s what you want to be in this league,” said Cincinnati Bengals safety Vonn Bell.

Thomas has been referred to as the Ed Reed of his generation because of his superb instincts and intelligence to go along with athleticism and excellent ball skills. His ability to be read an diagnose plays presnap and put himself into a position to make a play or react lightning fast within the play is reminiscent of vintage Reed.

“He can kind of freestyle out there a little bit because he’s that smart of a player,” said New England Patriots running back James White. “He can anticipate plays, he knows how to disguise coverages, anticipate where the ball is going. I’ll say he usually in the right spot at the right time.”

When news broke that the Ravens signed Thomas in free agency last offseason, cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who was revealed at No.86 earlier in the evening, was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get on the field with a player that he watched and venerated growing up. He played a part in the young player’s breakout campaign in 2019 as the stabilizing force in the backend for Baltimore. After a decade in the league, Thomas’ best assets are his intellect and natural feel for the game even more than his raw athletic ability but his physicality and energy are still on display at all times with the way he flies to the ball on every play.

“I think the best thing he’s got going for him is just how instinctive he is,” said Humphrey. “He’s just head and shoulders above a lot in that aspect. He’ll come up and hit you too. He’s one of those guys that’s playing full speed at all times.”

Thomas was one of the founder members and most prominent faces from a legendary and vaunted defense that patrolled the skies in the Emerald City for half a decade, led the Seahawks the first and only Superbowl title in franchise history, and helped Seattle field some of the stingiest scoring defenses of the past decade.

“He was one of the original leaders of the Legion of Boom (L.O.B) with the Seahawks,” said Pittsburgh Steelers running back Trey Edmunds. “He brought that same playing style to the Ravens.”

Edmunds is spot on with his observation that Thomas plays with the same physical brand of smart smash-mouth football in Baltimore that he built his reputation on during his first nine years in the league with Seattle. Even though they don’t have a catchy or signature nickname yet, the secondary that he now leads with the Ravens is regarded as the best and deepest in the league.

They’re highlighted by Thomas, a pair of All-Pros at the outside corner spots in Humphrey and Marcus Peters—who could be revealed at a later date—one of the best nickel corners in the league in Tavon Young returning off an injury to plat in the slot, and budding star Chuck Clark at the other safety spot. Even if they don’t hold opposing offense to historic low numbers at the rate of the 2013 Seahawks, Thomas and the 2020 Ravens could still be a part of a championship run when it all said and done with him leading the charge.

Please follow and like us:

You may also like...

Follow by Email