In this 2017 NFL Draft profile, here’s a breakdown of the strengths, weaknesses, and a draft day prediction for defensive end Solomon Thomas out of Stanford.
Make no mistake, Solomon Thomas is not a guy you want preying on your quarterback. And in a few days, one team will choose him as their defensive insurance policy. Will fear influence their decision? Certainly, it keeps one up at night and even in the right conditions, plays tricks on the mind distorting sounds and images. Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, Thomas will be among the top half of selections being announced.
Thomas is accustomed to creating fear in his opponents. He’s like a violent nightmare barreling off the edge or slicing through the middle, with a playing style more reminiscent of another troublesome number 90 –the New York Giants Jason Pierre-Paul. In 2016, Thomas led the Stanford defense posting 61 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
Now, he’s making his way into the NFL by force and whichever team selects Thomas is sending a warning to the other 31 teams—BEWARE!
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Here’s a defensive guy who undoubtedly brings an immediate impact. Because of his athleticism, agility, and unpredictability, at 100 percent power, he’s able to bull rush linemen causing the pocket to crumble and stopping the momentum of runners.
Another significant upside is that the skill set is already there and with minor technique adjustments he becomes more elusive and nearly unstoppable from the inside or on the edge.
There are times when he lacks explosiveness off the snap, which in turn allows defenders to push him far outside the pocket taking away his ability to make better angles towards the quarterback.
Knowing that the double-team is coming, he must develop a greater sophistication in shedding and outsmarting the double-team. Conversely, when not being double-teamed, he doesn’t get his hands up enough to create deflections and disrupt the passing lane.
Can miss on big scramble plays by inches because he puts on the brakes rather than shifting into higher gears.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
Perhaps, Thomas has been overshadowed by the adoration of the number one defensive end draft prospect Myles Garrett. Thomas should expect to hear his name called no later than the 20th selection of Round 1.