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Jets draft defense with Thomas

<P> "Bryan was the player we had rated the highest on our board," Herman Edwards said. "He is a unique player. Bryan is big at 6-4 and has great pass rush ability - he had 35 sacks in his career. He is a tough guy against the run and you can never get enough guys rushing the quarterback." </P>

The Jets selected defensive end Bryan Thomas from Alabama

 "Everything was positive coming out on Bryan," said Dick Haley. "And, he ran a blazing time in Indy (4.49 in the 40). That was good enough for me. "He's identical to John (Abraham) speed-wise," Haley continued. "But he's a little taller."

"There were a couple guys, two or three guys sitting there, high on the board, that we liked when it came our time to pick," said Edwards. "So, we asked, 'Who's rated the highest?' He was the guy. It wasn't even close, so it wasn't a tough decision."


Defensive End/Outside Linebacker

University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers


Birmingham, Alabama


A four-year starter, he is regarded as one of the premier pass rushers in the country…Set school and Conference USA career-records with 35 quarterback sacks, good for minus 270 yards…Also recorded 148 tackles (78 solos) with 56 stops for losses of 320 yards, two fumble recoveries, eight forced fumbles, 12 pass deflections and 46 quarterback pressures…Has explosive leg drive, shooting inside the gaps to make plays in the backfield…Has the arm strength to control the larger blockers at the point of attack…Uses his hands effective to hold up and control the tight ends through their routes…Moves swiftly to the edge, making low tackles along the perimeter…Gets excellent leverage and power behind his pass rush burst…Gets his hands up quick to obstruct the quarterback's view…Closes in an instant, generating a crunching force crashing into the quarterback…His double moves usually allow him to race past the blockers and works back to the inside with quickness…Stays low to the ground when stringing out the run plays.



Earned First Team All-Conference USA honors...Lined up at strongside defensive end… Recorded 46 tackles (27 solos) with ten quarterback pressures…Had 14 sacks for minus 101 yards, the fifth-best total in college football for the 2001 season…Added 21 stops for losses of 113 yards…Deflected four passes and caused three fumbles…His 14 sacks set a school season-record, topping the previous mark of 13 by Robert Leslie in 1995.

Montana State…Had a 5-yard sack and a pass break-up in the season opener.

Florida State…Added a sack and 3 stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Southern Mississippi…Sacked QB Jeff Kelly three times for minus 22 yards and was in on 5 tackles (4 solos)…Only Rodney Foster (four vs. Washington & Lee, 1991) and Josh Evans (four vs. Butler, 1993) had more sacks in a game for the Blazers.

Central Florida…Followed with an 8-yard sack.

Cincinnati…Caused a fumble, deflected a pass and had a 16-yard sack.

Tulane…Posted a pair of sacks for minus 7 yards, 4 stops behind the line of scrimmage and was in on 5 tackles.

Memphis…Made 4 hits (3 solos) and batted away 2 passes.

Houston…Collected 5 tackles with 2 sacks for minus 17 yards, 3 stops behind the line of scrimmage and a forced fumble.

Pittsburgh…Closed out his career with a pair of tackles for losses, including a 5-yard sack.



Earned Second Team All-Conference USA honors...Recorded 45 tackles (21 solos) with ten sacks for minus 95 yards and 16 stops for losses of 112 yards…Credited with 13 quarterback pressures and five pass deflections…Blocked three kicks…Caused three fumbles and recovered another.

Tennessee-Chattanooga…Opened the season with a pair of sacks, a pass deflection, 3 pressures and 6 tackles (4 solos)…Also blocked a field goal.

Louisville…Posted 6 tackles (3 solos) with a 7-yard sack and 2 pressures.

Memphis…Followed with a 6-yard sack, a blocked field goal and a pair of hits.

Middle Tennessee…Had a 10-yard sack, 3 tackles, a forced fumble and a pass break-up.

East Carolina…Registered 1.5 sacks for minus 14 yards, 5 tackles, 2 pressures and a pass deflection.

Army…Blocked a punt and made 6 tackles with a sack.



Played in 10 games, starting eight at right defensive end…Recorded 31 tackles (14 solos) with five sacks for minus 27 yards and 12 stops for losses of 46 yards…Caused a fumble and deflected a pass.

Missouri…Made 4 tackles with a stop for a 3-yard loss in the season opener.

Virginia Tech…Sacked QB Michael Vick for a 5-yard loss and delivered 7 tackles (4 solos).

Houston…Registered a pair of sacks, including one on QB Jason McKinley that resulted in a safety in the Blazers' first ever C-USA victory.

Louisiana-Monroe…Followed with an 11-yard sack and a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage.

East Carolina… Credited with a 4-yard sack, 2 stops for losses of 6 yards and 3 tackles.



Saw action in 10 games and started five…Recorded 26 tackles (16 solos) with six sacks for minu

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