Redskins select Phillip Thomas in fourth round

nfl_redskinsThe Washington Redskins turned their attention back to upgrading their beleaguered secondary, selecting Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas in the fourth round of the NFL draft on Saturday afternoon.

With last year’s starting free safety, Madieu Williams, no longer with the team, and Reed Doughty, DeJon Gomes and Jordan Pugh better suited as backups and special teams players, the Redskins spent the 119th overall pick on Thomas. Washington also has Tanard Jackson on the roster, but he remains suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy and isn’t eligible for reinstatement until Aug. 31. There is no guarantee, however, that he will receive clearance from the league.

Billed as a ball hawk during his college career, the 6-foot, 208-pound Thomas last season recorded an NCAA-leading eight interceptions (three returned for a touchdown) and 84 tackles.

With the selection of Thomas on Saturday and cornerback David Amerson in the second round on Friday, Washington acquired a pair of players that led the nation in interceptions in each of the last two seasons. Amerson recorded 13 interceptions – tops in the nation – in 2011.

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