49ers sign Carlos Thomas, CB, South Carolina

I meant to get this up yesterday, so here it is.  Maiocco has confirmed that the 49ers have signed cornerback Carlos Thomas out of South Carolina.  ESPN ranks him 60th among cornerbacks, but it's pretty hard to find any sort of scouting report on him.  I emailed our South Carolina bloggers so we'll see if they can provide any info.

In the meantime, the South Carolina athletic site had a few details:

Senior defensive back who has made 20 career starts, the fourth-highest total on the squad entering the 2008 campaign... penciled in as the probable starter at one of the cornerback slots again this fall... has good coverage skills and has become a better performer with added experience... has worked on his tackling skills and becoming more physical... originally used as a wide receiver and a kickoff returner during his freshman season at Carolina... regarded as one of the fastest Gamecocks, clocking a 4.37 40-yard dash... has three career interceptions.

Gamecock Man over at Garnet and Black Attack (our South Carolina blog), was kind enough to provide a scouting report on Thomas:

I (and many other Gamecocks fans) were a little surprised to hear that Thomas was signed. I hear he had a good showing at our Pro Day workouts, which probably led to San Francisco's choice to give him a shot. Indeed, athletically he's pretty special. I don't know what he ran at Pro Day, but he's been clocked in the 4.3-4.4 range before and was considered one of our fastest players. He has good hands and will pull in the INT when he gets into position.

All of this said, he's been a bit inconsistent at times and has had trouble keeping his hold on a starting spot. For one thing, his size (5'11 / 197) makes him a matchup liability against bigger receivers. Moreover, despite his speed, he at times gets lost in coverage.

I will say, though, that although he gets a little grief at times from Gamecocks fans for some forgettable moments in our late-season collapse in 2007, he has proven to be dedicated to getting better and has overall been a positive element on the team. He has, like I said, some athletic ability, so I could see his dedication paying off him in the NFL.

I certainly think he has the potential to be a good special teams and rotation corner, and with a little luck, maybe he could even compete for a starting spot if he learns to make better mental decisions in coverage. I hope he works out for you guys and am glad to hear he's getting his chance.

I moved the INT video to after the jump.

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