Solomon Thomas has locked himself into the second pick in 2017 since the NFL Combine. That may or may not happen as smoke screens and prognostications may change things. Thomas has been one of the fastest rising players on many draft boards for some time now. The need for edge rushers combined with his speed makes him an attractive pick for any team looking for a game changer.
Many believe Thomas can be that type of player.
Thomas’ domination of the North Carolina offensive line in the Sun Bowl has been a highlight reel tape all 32 teams have seen. Is he another JJ Watt or will his game package along with a solid Combine and Pro Day showing still leave some scouts in doubt?
Thomas had a solid season for Stanford in 2016, with 11.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss the last 2 seasons playing as a defensive tackle in Stanford’s 3-4.
The belief is he can be more effective on the outside.
In this player profile, we will look at the strengths and weaknesses of Solomon Thomas as he moves on to the next level. We also include a few teams that will be interested in adding help to their defensive line.
Solomon Thomas, at 6-foot-3 and 273 pounds, ran an impressive 4.69 at the scouting combine. Therefore, leaving many to think he has the versatility and athleticism to line up as a 4-3 defensive end. He can also come off the edge and be an interior pass rusher on throwing downs.
Thomas attacks both the edges and can crank up a bull rush. He uses swipes, rips, and arm-over to unlock his rush. His hands and feet work in unison.
I bring this up only because he played in a 3-4 defense for the Cardinal. Can he make the leap to a 4-3 defense and possibly play standing up on the edge in the pros? He has the ability to be a JJ Watt type player. Nevertheless, making a transition like this might take time.
Scouts consider Thomas to be a “tweener.” Consequently, many believe he could struggle to keep enough weight on his frame. Something he will need to play along the interior. Length is below average as five-technique.
San Francisco 49ers (2nd overall), Chicago Bears (3rd overall), Jacksonville Jaguars (4th overall), New York Jets (6th overall), San Diego Chargers (7th overall), Carolina Panthers (8th overall), Cincinnati Bengals (9th overall)