Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas is a terror to opposing offenses…and he’s surging up draft boards.
School: Stanford Ht: 6-2 Wt: 275
The first thing that stands out about Thomas is the high-level of intensity with which he plays. He is a non-stop ball of rage on the field and jumps out on film. He has long arms and a low center of gravity, creating natural leverage on blockers. Thomas has a quick, explosive first step and many times beats offensive linemen before they get out of their stance. His strong, violent hands regularly jar blockers upon contact, creating and maintaining separation.
Thomas is a versatile defensive end with the length and strength to defend the run and also move inside. Possesses the diverse skill set that NFL defenses look for. Very strong in protecting running lanes around him, but surprisingly agile and with a set of pass rush skills to penetrate gaps, getting sacks and forcing fumbles.
Thomas may be labeled as a ‘tweener’ by some teams. He’s shorter than the prototypical defensive end and lighter than the ideal defensive tackle. Some may even view him as a pass rushing outside linebacker as well, but he’ll have to show he’s comfortable in space for that. While explosive and disruptive, Thomas does display some stiffness in his hips.
Upon studying Thomas on film, quite frankly, he’s becoming one of my favorite defensive prospects in this draft class. The relentless nature of his game is impossible to ignore and is absolutely contagious to his teammates. His versatility is as premium in the modern NFL, where roles are much more prominent than traditional positions. Thomas can accel at multiple roles in any defensive scheme. It’s difficult to pinpoint any one player that Thomas resembles. If some mad scientist combined the DNA of Aaron Donald and Justin Tuck, he’d be close.