PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have taken Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas in the fourth round of the NFL draft.
The 5-foot-9 Thomas gives the Steelers some needed depth in the defensive backfield. Pittsburgh lost reserve safeties Ryan Mundy and Will Allen to free agency and have aging stars in Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark.
Secondary coach Carnell Lake called Thomas explosive and said if Thomas was two inches taller, he would have gone in the first round.
The Steelers see Thomas as a safety but believe he could pitch in as a nickelback or as a corner if needed.
Thomas was a first-team All-Big East selection after his senior season at Syracuse, when he led the Orange with 88 tackles.