One More for the Road: Q&A with Cam Thomas

North Carolina NT Cam Thomas was nice enough to let follow his path to the draft in a series of exclusive interviews. But since San Diego called his name on Saturday, we just had to add one more installment to the series. See what Thomas has to say about his rookie goals, his role in the defense and more.

The Chargers traded up in the fifth round of the NFL Draft to select North Carolina's Camaron Thomas. The massive nose tackle (6-foot-3, 330 pounds) will help beef up San Diego's defensive line and restore some bite to the run defense.

We tracked Thomas throughout the offseason via a series of exclusive one-on-ones. In case you missed them, check out Part I, Part II and Part III.

Michael Lombardo: What are your thoughts on becoming a San Diego Charger?

Camaron Thomas: I'm loving it. I'm loving the whole situation. I'm going to a great organization in San Diego with a great fan base. It's a playoff team that has intentions to win the Super Bowl each and every year. I'm glad to be part of that.

ML: Did you have a chance to visit San Diego before the draft?

CT: No, nothing like that. They talked to me at the Combine but that was about it.

ML: Tell us about the moment you were picked. Who called with the good news?

NT Cam Thomas
Shana Siler/
CT: It was A.J. Smith, the GM. I saw this weird number on my phone and I was like, "Where is this from?" When I picked up he said, "Can I talk to Cam Thomas?" I said, "This is him," and after that it was all joy from there.

ML: You were picked in the fifth round, lower than most people projected. But the Chargers actually traded up to get you. How do you feel about the way everything played out?

CT: God works in mysterious ways, man. This is the way He wanted it. I am just rolling with it. I'm just glad I got picked, that's all that matters. That is why I was saying early in this [interview series] that I didn't know where I was going, all of that is just politics. It doesn't matter what people think. At the end of the day, it's what the GMs think that matters.

ML: Is is fair to assume you'll play with a chip on your shoulder?

CT: What guy wouldn't play with a chip on his shoulder? I'm ready to go and show guys I can play on this level and let everything work from there.

ML: Have you talked to the Chargers coaching staff at all about what your role will be this season?

CT: No, I haven't. I'll learn a lot more when I get up there [for rookie orientation] on May 6. I'm just waiting till then.

ML: Do you know any members of the Chargers coaching staff or any players on the defensive line?

CT: No, not really. I know they had a great nose guard in Jamal Williams. He is a great guy who was there for a long time. That's the only person I really know of. And even though I haven't talked to 'em, I know of Shaun Phillips and Shawne Merriman and stuff like that [laughs].

ML: After the draft, Norv Turner said you will be well served in San Diego where you can play about 20 snaps per game as opposed to 60 snaps per game, like you played at North Carolina. Do you agree with that?

CT: I felt like I was in good shape at North Carolina. They took me out sometimes to put a faster guy in for pass-rush situations but I felt like my conditioning was up to par. But I won't complain about playing in a rotation; I just want to play. Everything else will fall into place after that.

ML: Do you have any goals for your rookie season?

CT: I just want to ball out, man. From the moment I step on that field I want to ball out. I'm just ready to get rolling and everything else will take care of itself.

What are your thoughts on the selection of Thomas? Discuss in our message board.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.

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