Finding Broncos: Scouting Stanford Defensive End Solomon Thomas

Erick Trickel returns to scout one of the best defensive players in this draft. Could Solomon Thomas actually be the best prospect in this class?

Solomon Thomas, Defensive Line, Stanford Cardinal

http://www.scout.com/player/161009-solomon-thomas?s=101

Combine Measurements 

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 273 pounds

Arms: 33 inches

Hands: 9-3/8 inches

Combine Results

40-Yard Dash: 4.69

Bench Press (225 lbs): 30

Vertical Jump: 35

Broad Jump: 126

3-Cone Drill: 6.95

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.28

Medical

N/A

Character

Clean

Stats

Year Tackles TFL Sacks FF FR
2015 37 10.5 3.5 0 1
2016 61 14 8.5 1 2

Pros

Well-built frame. Family of college athletes. Great pursuit speed. Has range to be playmaker on the defensive line. Can play multiple positions in multiple fronts. Mean and nasty on the field.

Gets out of blocks quickly. Outstanding hands with great usage. Keeps fighting every snap of the game. Won’t stay engaged for too long. Escape and looks to make the play.

Goes from move to move against the run and pass rushes effortlessly. Can win with power, athleticism, technique, quickness. Fluid player with all the tools and athleticism.

Has power in his legs for a great bull rush. Lightning quick spin move to disengage from blocks. Keeps himself moving. Has a plethora of pass rushing moves and all of them are great.

Has the offensive lineman's 'finisher' mentality of wanting the play to end with the blocker on the ground. Relentless attacker. Has the quickness to make some of the best recovery blockers look like bad recovery blockers.

Cons

Length is below average for what teams desire. Pad level needs work. Sometimes rolls his get-offs instead of bursting off. Needs more pop in his hands.

Seven offsides penalties. Could do to hit the weight room some and add some strength from top to bottom. Bigger and stronger offensive linemen with clamp hands gave him issues.

Highlight

Overview

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Solomon Thomas is an outstanding and versatile defensive lineman capable of playing multiple positions in any kind of scheme. Most of his cons are easy fixes, with the exception being his lack of length.

There can be a case made for him being the best player in this class, but Myles Garrett just slightly edges him out, simply due to his off-the-charts athleticism. Thomas will be an All-Pro for years and the key piece to a defense. All this for a guy who in January wasn’t a first round pick to many.

Fit With The Broncos 

Thomas can play in a 3-4 front as a 5-tech defensive end, especially one that is a single-gap attacking system. It gives him the best chance to succeed and lets him do what he wants to do and that is attack.

A few months ago I was debating with people as to why Thomas should be their pick in the first round, instead of falling later in the draft. Now, Denver has to hope he falls from the top-5 in order to even have a slim chance at him.

Draft Grade: No. 2 overall prospect

Where He Goes: Top Five

Insider's Take: Thomas is a tremendous talent. A few scouts I have talked to mentioned that their respective teams have him as the top player in the draft.

 

Erick Trickel is the Senior Draft Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ErickTrickel.

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