Ravens' Earl Thomas named 12th best safety for 2020 season by PFN

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Earl Thomas was ranked as the NFL's 12th best safety heading into the 2020 season, by Pro Football Network. 

"Thomas took over from Ed Reed as the league’s premier single-high free safety and, like Reed, should someday end up in the Hall of Fame. During his “Legion of Boom” days, Thomas was a great eraser," wrote PFN's Matt Williamson. "He erased the mistakes of the ten men playing in front of him and allowed Seattle’s defense to play extremely aggressive, knowing he was behind them."

Derwin James (Los Angeles Chargers) was the top-rated safety followed by Minkah Fitzpatrick (Pittsburgh Steelers), Tyrann Mathieu (Kansas City Chiefs), Kevin Byard (Tennessee Titans) and Jamal Adams (Seattle Seahawks).

"Deep middle centerfielder types are still highly coveted, mostly because defenses want to play more man coverage and need some sort of security blanket over the top for insurance," Williamson wrote. "But we are seeing an influx of versatile middle-of-the-field defenders that can run, cover, play near the line of scrimmage in somewhat of a “Positionless football” concept. 

Thomas signed a four-year, $55 million deal with Baltimore prior to the 2019 season. He finished the season with 49 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, four passes defended, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, helping Baltimore’s defense rank No. 3 in points (17.6) and No. 4 in yards (300.6) allowed per game.

Thomas also earned a seventh trip to the Pro Bowl.

He'll pair with Chuck Clark as the Ravens starting safeties this season. Clark took over the top spot last year when Tony Jefferson suffered a season-ending knee injury Week 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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