One of the biggest risers following bowl season is none other than Stanford’s Solomon Thomas. The former 5-star recruit and Texas native turned in a breakout junior campaign over on the West Coast for the Cardinal. His draft stock remained on the steady ascend throughout the year, but his dominant play in the Sun Bowl caught national attention.
Coming out of Stanford, you know Thomas has all the credentials that NFL coaches look for. He brings a good attitude to the locker room and his ability on the field will be coveted by defensive coordinators across the league.
Thomas has vacated a handful of different locations during his lifetime, including a 4 year period where he lived in Australia. He’s not new to change or taking on new impediments that come his way. The next of those challenges is taking on the National Football League, but he is well equipped to do so.
Name: Solomon Thomas
Comparison: Dominique Easley (Los Angeles Rams)
Draft Grade: Top 15
Positives: Excellent quickness and timing off the snap. Uses hands extremely well and can beat blockers in a variety of ways. Violent hand usage and persistent in pass rush. Deals with double teams better than anyone I’ve seen at this level. Splits through double teams well and uses good bend to get low and slip through into the backfield. Displays good burst when exiting multiple blockers. Disruptive at the college level with the ability to take over games – demanded more than a single blocker in most games this past season. Tremendous strength. Bullies offensive linemen of similar or smaller size. Engages blocks hard. Quick and nimble in close quarters. Slides along the line well with good lateral agility. Gives good effort on plays and maximizes his motor in pursuit. Plays with good balance and has no issue shaking off low blocks. Uses spin move effectively when initial hand usage doesn’t work. Intelligent player. Plays like a seasoned veteran and won’t require much, if any grooming at the next level. Traveled all over as a kid and won’t be inept to adapting to the NFL. Outgoing personality and will surely be a positive locker room presence. Dominated in the bowl game against North Carolina which led to national recognition and perhaps an increase in draft stock. Will only be 21 years old as a rookie.
Negatives: Average athleticism. Sub par closing speed and range. Doesn’t deal well against bigger offensive linemen. Lacks the ideal length when shedding blocks to corral the ball carrier. Stamina is a minor concern – occasionally looks sluggish and requires some snaps off.
Outlook: Solomon Thomas is a guy who is sure to build draft steam leading up to April. His dominant performance in the Sun Bowl opened the eyes of many scouts, and once they dig even deeper, they’ll see a 1st round talent. Thomas has everything you want from a defensive linemen. He’s quick, strong, physical and balanced against the run and while rushing the passer. I like him better as an interior guy in a 4-3 scheme as he matches up better with smaller guards rather than tackles. However, he has the ability to play the 3-tech in an odd man front. Thomas isn’t the physical specimen that will “wow” at the combine, but he’s a steady, strong football player and the type of player coaches would love to have on their team. A top 15 talent in my eyes as he’s set for a long career in the NFL.