The Jacksonville Jaguars had plenty of roster holes to fill entering the 2021 offseason https://www.losprostoreonline.com/Tre_Mckitty_Pet_Jersey-586 , and safety reinforcements were near the top of the list. The team allowed the third-most touchdowns of 20-plus yards and the eighth-most explosive plays against both the run and the pass last season , which was due in part to lacking playmaking ability from the safety position.Jacksonvilles primary starters, Jarrod Wilson and Josh Jones, respectively ranked 45th and 94th in Pro Football Focus defensive grade among 99 qualifying safeties last year https://www.losprostoreonline.com/Brenden_Jaimes_Pillow_Cover-251 . The duo allowed a combined 28 of 39 passesto be completed and totaled 11 missed tackles. The Jaguars new regime recognized the porous state of the back of the defense and made quick changes. The front office gave former Charger Rayshawn Jenkins the second-most money in its free agency class before making Syracuses Andre Cisco the fifth-highest pick of its draft class. However, one of the few bright spots in a forgettable 2020 season were the first-year flashes of Daniel Thomas, who was drafted in the fifth round out of Auburn. Thomas started at safety for one game and played part-time in three others before suffering a season-ending arm injury, but his performance in limited snaps was encouraging, even if he didnt leave a major mark on last years defense. Thomas played 68 snaps in the box compared to 59 at free safetydespite being the third-shortest player on the roster; just 10 of last years 64 primary starting safeties are listed as 510or under https://www.losprostoreonline.com/Josh_Palmer_Pillow_Cover-415 .While Thomas is bigger than most players his height at 215 pounds, he still got into trouble against larger opponents- the most common plays on his tape were ones in which he was bullied by offensive linemen or tight ends and didnt come close to working through blocks https://www.losprostoreonline.com/Nick_Niemann_Face_Mask-540 . Sizewas a red flag for Thomas as a prospect, as playerstature arent always capable of shedding bigger blockers, breaking up 50-50 balls against taller receivers, and tackling explosive ball carriers. Indeed, those problem did emerge for Thomas in his rookie season, but his film also offered some reasons for optimism:From getting to the ball before hands got placed on him......to holding his own in coverage against tight ends......to making fundamental tackles in open space.Tackling is still an area to work on, as Thomas was faulty of arriving too hot in run support, breaking perimeter contain, and getting lost in the trenches at times- but there are enough highlights to make the lowlights a bit more bearable, especially considering that the more Thomas played, the more comfortable he looked.For every brutal whiff that made you raise your arm to the television with the remote in your hand......There was an impressive coverage rep that showed his high his ceiling really is.The Jaguars lined up with a single safety over the top at one of the highest rates in the league last year as it primarily played Cover 1 or Cover 3. Thomas earned a fair amount of snaps as a single-high safety - a daunting task for a Day 3 rookie at a time when defenses are shifting back towards more two-high shells in response to the leaguewide passing boom - but with a dont let anything get behind me approach Keenan Allen T-Shirt , Thomas fared well at the spot.He didnt allow a single completion on a seam or post route in coverage, and while a few crossers and nine routes were allowed , Thomas displayed impressive range to ensure that there were no busted plays under his watch......and giving solid pursuit to provide support from back deep.Go ahead and mark this one under something you wont see every day: the MVP of the league over-adjusting the location of a throw because of a rookie safety lurking over the top.Thomas patience as the teams last... well, defense, was impressive. Once he gets enough experience to quicken his processing speed and consistently break on balls with confidence, Thomas has real potential to be a playmaking machine- something that Jacksonville has been badly missing at the position in recent years.Gaining experience, improving tackling technique and building confidence as a center fielder all take time, which Thomas now has in a suddenly-crowded safety room. His rookie tape was inconsistent but promising, and its fair to hope that Thomas has starting potential.Other than continuing to ball out on special teams , which we know will be a major focus under Urban Meyer, Thomas can still be of immediate use in a Joe Cullen defense that is expected to use plenty of defensive backs and an attacking front. Blitzing is another skill for Thomas to work on - he accumulated zero pressures on a handful of rushes and hasnt shown the bend to beat offensive linemen or the aggressiveness to beat running backs in protection yet - but his speed is a weapon that the coaching staff will probably want to experiment with Larry Rountree III Hoodie , and Thomas has shown the ability to get to his assigned zone and do his job while others carry out the dirty work. That should be the Jaguars plan for Thomas: use him situationally when his speed can help dictate or overcome matchups and give him simple tasks that allow him to make plays within structure, with the hope that a year or two in the wings can mold him into a future starter just in time for this new era of Jacksonville football.