Phillip Thomas among safeties Redskins could look at in draft

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NFL,Redskins,College,John Keim

For the past two years, the Redskins held high picks and targeted a glamour spot: quarterback. They no longer have a high pick and no longer need a quarterback.

But they do have needs, starting with safety. And if they take one with their first pick late in the second round (the first-round pick went to St. Louis in the deal that eventually landed Robert Griffin III), ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper said Fresno State's Phillip Thomas would be a good choice.

"He's a very underrated player. He's around the ball a lot, a lot of impact hits," Kiper said. "Good in coverage as well."

Thomas was named to the Associated Press All-America team after finishing with a Mountain West record eight interceptions. That total also led the nation.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Thomas missed all of 2011 after breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle three days before the season began.

Thomas is listed as a strong safety, but various reports say Thomas could play both spots.

Another name to watch in later rounds: Georgia Southern's J.J. Wilcox, a slot receiver his first three years. During that time he rushed 137 times for 964 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also caught 45 passes for 898 yards and four more touchdowns. However, he was switched to strong safety this past season.

Wilcox also offers kick return skills, having averaged 25.5 yards on 30 returns.

"He's a nice player with versatility," Kiper said, also calling him a good athlete. "He emerged this year and is someone to keep an eye on."

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner