Solomon Thomas scouting report: Potential 2014 swing defensive lineman

Solomon Thomas (left) with teammates - via @sollythomas90

The biggest question surrounding Thomas isn't his talent level, it's whether he will still at defensive end in college.

Name: Solomon Thomas

School and hometown: Coppell (Texas) High School

Position: Defensive lineman

Height and weight: 6'3 and 260 pounds

Ratings: A four-star prospect by Rivals, Scout, and 247Sports, Thomas is ranked as the third-best strongside defensive end in the country by the 247Sports composite rankings and the third-best player in the state of Texas by the same measurement.

Offers: Thomas holds offers from Clemson, Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma Stanford, UCLA, West Virginia, Texas A&M, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss, TCU, and Texas Tech.

Twitter: @SollyThomas90

Highlights:

#90 Solomon Thomas- Coppell (via AyoFap)

Scouting Report:

The central question regarding Thomas as a player is how much weight he gain in college and still maintain his athleticism -- while Thomas is an excellent athlete for his size, can he keep his quickness while putting on the 30 or more pounds that he would need to make a full-time transition to a defensive tackle?

His greatest upside may be there if he can put on the weight because otherwise a defense might be best to employ him as a defensive end in a 3-4 to get the most from this skillset, requiring some tweaking of favored defensive fronts for many of the predominantly 4-3 defensive coordinators out there.

Powerfully built in both his upper and lower body, Thomas is already well filled out, making it difficult to project how much muscle mass he can add to his frame.

The overall strength translates to the field, though, mostly on the interior -- Thomas spent his sophomore season mostly playing defensive tackle and then played inside the tackles against as a junior.

His leverage is excellent coming off the ball, he has the ability to control opponents with his hands when defending against the run, then separating and making plays. He's flexible and fluid and capable of exploding out of his hips to deliver an excellent punch for a high school player. Even as a tackler and when moving in the backfield, Thomas is all power angles and explosiveness out of his crouch, though he does tend to drag down opponents more often than is ideal.

When rushing the passer from inside, Thomas makes plays with his strength and motor, especially on extended plays or situations where the quarterback tries to vacate the pocket.

It seems unlikely that Thomas ever spends much time as an edge rusher and, in fact, it's difficult to tell from his work in pads whether he has the quickness and technique to make an impact there in college. The guess is that he could effectively collapse the pocket with a bull rush, but wouldn't do much as a pure speed rusher.

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