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Solomon Thomas plays like a smaller J.J. Watt


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Solomon Thomas plays like 'smaller version' of J.J. Watt

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If J.J. Watt is the gold standard for NFL defensive ends, the club that drafts Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas just might strike it rich.

At 6-feet-3, 273 pounds, the Cardinal junior doesn't have quite have the size or length of Watt, the Houston Texansthree-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. But NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein believes Thomas is similar to the player Watt was as a draft prospect out of Wisconsin.

"J.J. was good at Wisconsin, but he wasn't dominant. His motor was relentless and you could see the talent, but it didn't really click for J.J. as far as how to use his strength and power until about halfway through his rookie year," Zierlein said. "Thomas looks a lot like that right now. He's fluid, it looks effortless, he can string moves together. There's a wicked spin move there that he hasn't even fully developed yet. He can move around and play different spots. He doesn't have the arm length of a Watt and he's got to add some mass, but he looks like a smaller version of Watt. Both are physical freaks."

Zierlein said he was impressed with Thomas' play against some of the toughest competition he faced this season, against Notre Dame and Southern Cal. Although Thomas played some along the interior, he drew reps against three of the top tackles in college football in those two games: Chad Wheeler and Zach Banner of USC, and Mike McGlinchey of Notre Dame. Against the Fighting Irish, he recorded a game-high 12 tackles (10 solo) with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Zierlein posted some impressive action from Thomas in that game via Twitter.

Thomas announced on Wednesday that he intends to file for early eligibility to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. NFL scouts have told Zierlein that Thomas could run as fast as a 4.58 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

"I think he's a natural 5-tech who can rush the passer. But because he's such a good athlete, if you're an open minded defensive coordinator, you could let him play some 3-tech or even stand him up on the outside," Zierlein added. "He's so good with his hands, he can get to the quarterback from the inside. He won't let guys get a square shot. His hands and feet work in perfect unison and he's always working the blocker's edge. Once he's in that seam, you're finished."

Thomas led Stanford in tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (7) this season, and was a dominant presence in the Cardinal's Sun Bowl win over North Carolina.

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19 hours ago, Psychic Gibbon said:

I seriously doubt Barnett or Solomon will be there for our picks now. I'm also not a fan of McKinley or Lawson.

Agree. It'll be interesting how DQ and TD view this draft. There are some elite prospects (ones we could label difference makers) that fit our system, but we'd have to move up. Which of course costs.

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4 hours ago, MSalmon said:

Agree. It'll be interesting how DQ and TD view this draft. There are some elite prospects (ones we could label difference makers) that fit our system, but we'd have to move up. Which of course costs.

I'd prefer to sit at wherever we pick and take Jaleel Johnson at this point, assuming no one else we want falls to us.

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39 minutes ago, Psychic Gibbon said:

I do not see him going lower than the 9-12 range.

I believe you.  You were the FIRST on the board to say Aaron Donald was a 1st rounder when everyone on TATF had Donald penciled in as Falcons 2nd round pick - then you were the first to say he was worthy of a top 10 selection.

All the publications have him as 2nd rounder now but that will change as we get closer to draft day - still almost 5 months off.

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6 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

I believe you.  You were the FIRST on the board to say Aaron Donald was a 1st rounder when everyone on TATF had Donald penciled in as Falcons 2nd round pick - then you were the first to say he was worthy of a top 10 selection.

All the publications have him as 2nd rounder now but that will change as we get closer to draft day - still almost 5 months off.

Gawd could you imagine a D-line with Donald, Beasley, and Jarrett. :vince:

But I understand the Matthews pick and am fine with it, especially since we switched a scheme that better suits him.

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49 minutes ago, Psychic Gibbon said:

Gawd could you imagine a D-line with Donald, Beasley, and Jarrett. :vince:

But I understand the Matthews pick and am fine with it, especially since we switched a scheme that better suits him.

yeah, without Matthews, Matty Ice may not have been healthy enough to have had his MVP season.

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I'm not a draft guru or board GM, but my GAWD Thomas looks like the second coming of Ndamakong Suh. He is going to be way better than Michael Bennett. It appears he has more power and speed, Suh like. He would complete our defense of fast & physical and definitely add toughness. 

I really would move up to get him. I would trade our 1st and 3rd if it could net him. I just pray Saints or Panthers or Bucs don't draft him. UGH!!

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3 hours ago, The Peregrine said:

I'm not a draft guru or board GM, but my GAWD Thomas looks like the second coming of Ndamakong Suh. He is going to be way better than Michael Bennett. It appears he has more power and speed, Suh like. He would complete our defense of fast & physical and definitely add toughness. 

I really would move up to get him. I would trade our 1st and 3rd if it could net him. I just pray Saints or Panthers or Bucs don't draft him. UGH!!

I actually like comparing him to Suh more than the Aaron Donald, JJ Watt, Michael Bennett etc stuff too. Their games are very similar, size notwithstanding. Doesn't have the crazy technique of Donald, or the length and bend of Watt, but the sheer brute strength and his manic playstyle...oh yeah. I see Suh.

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8 minutes ago, Falcan Moore said:

I actually like comparing him to Suh more than the Aaron Donald, JJ Watt etc stuff too. Their games are very similar, size notwithstanding. Doesn't have the crazy technique of Donald, or the length and bend of Watt, but the sheer brute strength and his manic playstyle...oh yeah. I see Suh.

He tackles with a Suh like aggression...like he WANTS to be feared.

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