The 2017 NFL Draft is loaded with pass rushers. In other news: Water is wet -- at least in places where winter isn’t currently making a furious come-back.
This draft features talented defensive ends, tweeners, and outside linebackers to fit every scheme and need. Stanford’s Solomon Thomas somehow manages to be one of the most highly regarded of the group, and also one of the least talked about.
Thomas is undoubtedly well known in the NFL’s scouting circles, but teams also have a habit of finding reasons to not draft prospects. It’s unlikely (but still possible) that he could somehow (but probably not) slip to the New York Giants at 23rd overall.
- Explosive athlete. Has the power, speed, and agility to threaten off the edge.
- Strong enough to slide inside on nickel downs.
- Disruptive wrecking ball in college. Productive player who wrecked offensive plays.
- Reportedly high-character player. Team captain with a motor that never runs down.
- Young player. Red-shirt sophomore who is just 21 years old.
- Showed surprising athleticism in space at the combine.
- At 6’3”, with 33” arms, length could be an issue for some teams.
- A “tweener” build might turn off some teams.
- Third year sophomore, doesn’t have as much experience as other players.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
In a word: Yes.
Thomas’ athleticism and disruptive game would be welcome additions to the Giants’ defense, and a natural scheme fit. He would fit right in as a defensive end in the base defense who can play defensive tackle in sub-packages.
He doesn’t fit the Giant’s physical archetype for drafted defensive ends, but he is also a talented enough player that they would likely make an exception. Unfortunately, their odds of even having to make that decision aren’t great. Thomas is highly regarded and could (should) be long gone when the Giants pick.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 2nd overall
Mocking The Draft - N/A
CBS Sports - 3rd overall
Draft Countdown - 4th overall
Draft Tek - 6th overall
If you like defensive play, Thomas is a blast to watch. Scouts may struggle to find a comparison for him that accurately encapsulates his game and physical characteristics, but that’s not a terrible thing. If a team can figure out how to use him properly while other teams struggle to defend him, being unconventional is an advantage.
It was a bit of a surprise to see Thomas come out after just two seasons of experience at Stanford, but he has the tools to be a very good player at the next level and should be a high draft pick. If the insane happens and teams are (for some strange reason) turned off by his build, I, for one, would welcome him to New York with open arms.