111 Comments

Making The Case: Solomon Thomas, Edge, Stanford

| April 19th, 2017

Editor’s Note: Solomon Thomas is my favorite player in this year’s draft. And it’s not close.


Solomon Thomas has the potential to be one of the best pass rushers in the entire league.

Physically, he has everything you could want: size, speed, length, strength, quickness, agility and explosiveness. His SPARQ score was in the 93rd percentile, tied with T.J. Watt for fourth-best in this class and two percentage points better than Leonard Floyd tested last year.

Thomas really burst onto the scene with a dominant performance against North Carolina. When everyone was trying to watch Mitch Trubisky, Thomas kept exploding onto the screen. It was impossible to not notice him. In all, he had 61 tackles — 14 for a loss — 8.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

For an edge player, Thomas is really good at holding up at the point of attack. Teams are going to struggle if they try to block him with a tight end or fullback.

He could start in the Bears base defense and move to a three-point stance on third-and-long, essentially replacing Cornelius Washington and limiting the snaps Pernell McPhee has to play.

But There’s So Much Projection

For the Bears, Thomas would be an edge player, but we’ve never seen him play in a two-point stance regularly. He was an end who slid inside at Stanford. The Bears would be playing him in space and we have no idea if he can actually do it. In fact, I’d be willing to bet he played in a four-point stance more. The athleticism tells us he should be able to do it, but there’s a lot more to it than being a great athlete. He has to see the field and anticipate better if he’s going to be playing space and we just don’t know if he can.

He can’t play defensive line for the Bears. He weighed 273 pounds at the Combine and played even lighter. He struggled taking on double teams in college and would have no chance at the NFL. We saw how badly Jonathan Bullard struggled with his transition from shooting gaps to taking on blocks and Thomas is a full 12 pounds lighter.

Does Thomas really make them that much better? In theory, he’d be taking McPhee — their best defensive player — off the field on early downs. On late downs, they still have Willie Young and, possibly, Lamar Houston to rotate in. Thomas doesn’t really fit a need.

Overview

The Bears already have a really good pass rush and they’re one player away from having a great pass rush. Thomas could be that one guy.

To me, this pick comes down to the input of Jay Rodgers and Vic Fangio, two of the best at what they do in the entire league. Kicking outside isn’t going to be an easy transition for Thomas. He’s going to have to learn more pass-rush moves and change how he plays. But if Rodgers and Fangio think he can do it, then I think it would be really hard to pass on him.

The Bears can get a good cornerback and safety in the later rounds. They can’t get a pass-rusher like Thomas later. Maybe he doesn’t fill a need, but teams can never have too many pass rushers. Thomas could give the Bears the extra juice they need to become a truly dangerous defense.

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  • MB30SD

    Konichiwa bitches.

    If Adams is gone… Yes.

    • Sahr Gborie

      Basically he is a poor mans M.Garrett

      • Ososfan

        more like a poor man’s Khalil Mack…wait, I think he’ll be as good if not better than Khalil Mack, he is heavier, and faster and did better in the combine….. Just my opinion

  • Too Soon?

    Aaron Hernandez found dead in his jail cell, apparent suicide.

    Guess he won’t be making a comeback; rumors are the Browns will be looking to the draft for help at TE.

    • Sahr Gborie

      wtf. that is crazy

      • King of DBB

        or inevitable.

        Too Soon is still a reg hiding behind an anon account.

        • Sahr Gborie

          true. whatever the case its less tax payer money.

          • King of DBB

            He was such a Thug Life the only way his life ended was working for the Sinaloa under an alias or at the end of a rope

            Thankfully it was the latter

            Now he is a 30 for 30 waiting to happen

        • Ososfan

          Might be Cheesy….?

    • BearDown100393

      Cleveland mourns.

  • Speaking of TJ Watt, he could be a solid option in round 2 or 3 if they’re looking for edge help.

    Though personally I would still love to see rounds 2 and 3 feature some combo of S/CB (after QB in round 1).

    • Sahr Gborie

      RD1 – J.Adams or Trade pending great deal
      RD2 – S/CB
      RD3 – EDGE
      RD4 – QB/TE

      • Ososfan

        Wait, no more Howard love? Lol

        • Sahr Gborie

          The intangibles of J.Adams won me over: he is a leader of men. our defense was good last year when Fuller/McPhee/Travethan/Freeman/Houston were out. Imagine how much better we will be with all of them back on the field along with J.Adams.

          The only way I take OJ Howard now is if we trade back out of 3

          • Ososfan

            Gotcha, true that. We deff need more D help but the prospect of Howard is intriguing.

      • I will be absolutely shocked if they draft Adams. It would be 100% opposite the Pace mold so far for a high draft pick. Adams is sub-average in pretty much every athletic test for a safety.

        • Sahr Gborie

          Even if J.Adams is not a Freak Athlete his intangibles are off the charts. Plus he plays a position of need. In his first two drafts Pace has gone Freak Athlete in the first followed by 2 linemen:

          2015 (R1 – Kevin White, R2 – Eddie Goldman, R3 – Hroniss Grasu)
          2016 (R1 – Leonard Floyd, R2 – Cody Whitehair, R3 – Jonathan Bullard)

          If he follows this pattern again who would he draft since J.Adams is not considered a freak athlete?

          RD1 – Freak Athlete, RD2 – OT – Garrett Bolles , RD3 – DT – Jaleel Johnson

          • I don’t know that we’ll see linemen in rounds 2/3 again this year. I look at it more as

            Rd 1: Freak athlete/huge upside
            Rds 2-3: Safer, less sexy pick

            So I think a solid player with intangibles but not measurables at S or CB could be an option in round 2, but doubt he’ll go that way at #3. Maybe I’m wrong (highly possible).

        • Irish Sweetness

          I think he likes long DEs too.

          Malik McDowell fits that bill, so maybe Pace is thinking elsewhere at 3. Safety is unlikely, I’m with you on that Woodsy. So that leaves him rolling the dice on a QB.

          Which one is anyone’s guess. Whoever SF doesn’t draft is a safe bet.

          I think of Shanahan, I think of Trubisky. I really think Pace could pull the trigger on Watson. Why wouldn’t he?

          • Sahr Gborie

            No reason not to draft Watson if he is your guy but look below

          • I didn’t say safety is unlikely. I said Adams is unlikely.

            I wouldn’t be shocked by Malik Hooker. He has the physical tools/upside that fits the Pace profile in round 1.

            I also wouldn’t be surprised by Allen or Thomas.

            But I think Pace’s ideal at 3 would be to trade down and draft one of Allen, Lattimore, Hooker, or Howard. All fit his profile in round 1, and he wants the extra draft picks.

    • Bender McLugh

      for QB in round 1, would you rather have Watson or Trubisky or other?

      • Sahr Gborie

        Watson. He is the most ready to plug and play. 2 National Championships. Humble.

        • Bender McLugh

          that is my preference for a QB, but not with the #3 if possible. would take some black magic for that to happen tho

          • Sahr Gborie

            In any other calls he is 1st round pick. Its just that this call is bad through no fault of his own.
            Trubisky is a 1 year wonder.
            Mahomes is a Frankenstein of Cutler/Favre who cold the a great steal or a big bust.
            kaizer has all the physical tools to be great but could not elevate his program once talent left

        • evantonio

          Gino Torreta also won 2 National Championships.

          • Sahr Gborie

            ouch

          • CanadaBear

            Oh sure, you had to bring that up!

      • Bender McLugh

        Woodsy, what say you?

      • I lean Watson, but I haven’t really studied film on guys in this class. Whoever Pace identifies as his guy is fine by me. Just have to try.

        Try and you might fail. Don’t try and you will fail.

        • (barring bucking the odds with a diamond in the rough later in the draft)

        • Irish Sweetness

          I haven’t checked Trub’s ratings. Was he 150+ every year of his single year career?

          • Irish Sweetness

            Yes, he was 158 this year.

            I’ll take either. Over Adams or anyone else.

            They’ll be the face of our franchise for years.

          • Bender McLugh

            Sisky Trubisky doens’t sound as good as Sexy Rexy

    • BearDown100393

      Dunno about that pedigree anymore.

      Watt outage after a few seasons.

  • King of DBB

    If it goes Garrett and then Adams, and the choice is:

    Allen, Thomas or Hooker then

    seriously, I am not sure it’s Thomas. I could still see Pox going Hooker there or trading back, or selecting Trubinsky either to keep or trade.

    I can’t see taking Thomas in any scenario. Of course, now that I said that – it’s exactly what will happen.

    • Sahr Gborie

      If Garrett goes 1 and Adams goes 2 you have to trade back. No way you take an injured player @3. Maybe Pace knows something we don’t.

      Garrett is going @1. Niners are likely to go QB or S.Thomas. If they don’t that’s when things get messy.

      • King of DBB

        That’s an easy scenario

        Take Adams and wait for the 2nd round

      • willbest

        You take Thomas

        • Sahr Gborie

          What about J.Adams? Pace still see Fuller as a CB and plans to leave him there unless he is 100% broken. That could be 2 first round talent in the back field

          • willbest

            This is under the assumption that Garrett and Adams go 1 and 2. I see zero reason, not to take Thomas in that situation.

            If it goes Garrett, Thomas, then take Adams. I know Horward and Fournette are legit, but the position is not as critical to get right as say defensive playmaker.

          • Sahr Gborie

            Adams is the obvious choice if Garrett and Thomas are gone. However if its Garrett then Adams i’m not so sure about Thomas because we could trade back since all 3 QB’s are still in play as well as Fournett.

          • willbest

            Could we trade back? I mean sure you could find a partner if all you want is a 4th rounder in return. But why wouldn’t you just guarantee getting the player you want rather than trading back to pick up a lottery ticket.

          • Irish Sweetness

            … whom they’re putting in a position he’s never played. Huge risk. Huge.

          • CanadaBear

            Fuller is done with the Bears. If they don’t trade him, he will have to earn his playing time. Unless he’s had an epiphany about wanting to play, I wouldn’t ever count on him.

      • Irish Sweetness

        If you had the choice, you’d trade back anyway. Not to trade back is saying one of those players is better than three players you could have drafted with the trade-back.

  • Sahr Gborie

    We all know who we want @3. More important questions is who we take if we trade out of 3 with say the Jets@6 or the Panthers@8 or the Saints@11?

    • Ososfan

      OJ HOWARD. DONE.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Russell Watson.

  • Sahr Gborie

    http://www.csnchicago.com/video/stl-whats-bears-plan-nfl-draft-approaches
    Hub Arkush on CSN last night says Bears like Watson@3 but they are open to a trade if they get proper compensation. Hub thinks the Niners take Watson @2.

    • King of DBB

      Hub has never been right about the draft. Like… ever.

      • Ososfan

        Wasn’t he the one who threw the pencil when we got Kyle Long? Hahahaha

    • Ososfan

      I like Watson, but not @#3.

      • Irish Sweetness

        If Pace thinks like that, we lose him. If you thinkn he’s the guy, you take him where you can.

        He’s probably the guy. If we’re saying stats and winning have anything to do with it. He’s it.

  • BearDown100393

    “Suicide”

    • willbest

      You don’t believe?

      • BearDown100393

        No.

  • Thompson Way

    The “tweener” tag scares me. The Bears need to make everyone think that they are going for a QB early, so they can trade back and get more picks in this deep draft.

    • Sahr Gborie

      This week leading up to the draft is the “season of misinformation”. Nothing is to be trusted. I’m just hoping Pace takes the BPA that can meet our needs

    • MB30SD

      It is after all… the Thompson Way.

  • Ososfan

    Fangio will get him ready to play, dude was playing everywhere and he should be a stud year 1 if they just make him focus on rushing the passer and covering a bit year 1. No worries with this STUD. BTW, Credit is due to MB had a posse.

  • Ososfan

    Btw, what I’ve read about Thomas is that he sometimes get stuck trying to over pursuit coaching will help him immensely. This dude is a Stud.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Other than the complete position change, he’s also still 6’3, and as soon as the hand goes on the ground, he’ll disappear.

      • Ososfan

        I don’t know Irish he’d have two of the top defensive minds helping him transition as well as a very helpful veteran core. We shall see!

  • King of DBB

    I so badly want to hijack the server that makes these Sponsored Ads.

    “What Tonya Harding looks like now will make pee come out of your pee hole.”

    “Remember Peg Bundy? Her net worth now will make you shit liquid down your leg.”

    “Holding a fucking banana between your legs all day is the secret to untold wealth? Find out why!”

    • Sahr Gborie

      I’ve got pitch forks if you need them

  • King of DBB

    Hub-a-dub on Adams:

    5. Titans – S Jamal Adams: The Titans have a more glaring need at cornerback and the best are all still on the board, but safety is critical in Dick LeBeau’s defense and the Titans also have their own pick at 18 where there will still be some very good corners to choose from. Adams’ ceiling isn’t as high as Malik Hooker’s or Jabril Peppers’ but his floor is much higher considering Hooker’s two surgeries and uncertainty about where Peppers fits. Adams may not be a future perennial Pro Bowler but he could be decent for the next decade or so.

    Just decent. Hubz says Adams is not a Pro Bowl player. Less Troy Palumalu or Kam Chanellor and more say… Will Demps-ish.

    Sounds like Pox would hold off and just go and see if Peppers was still around in Rnd 2 or take Baker.

    • Sahr Gborie

      Even if he ONLY becomes Kam Chancellor I would be ok with it.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Smoke and mirrors.

      He’ll take the QB. Like he has to. It buys him three years.

      • King of DBB

        upvoted

      • Sahr Gborie

        Only if he believes that Watson can challenge Glennon in camp and beat him out in 18

      • willbest

        He is certainly giving the QB a hard sell having worked them all out.

  • CanadaBear

    If you guys haven’t seen this, check it out. Now I know where Spice Adams got his personality. Even if you don’t like Prince’s music the clip is hilarious. His mom is too cool!

  • leftcoast dave

    I like this idea to take Sheldon Richardson and a third to swap with the Jets. Gives them the DL impact and then can get a top DB at the right price. (Or trade out again if they can)

    http://dawindycity.com/2017/04/19/2017-nfl-draft-possible-trade-scenario-chicago-bears/

    • Sahr Gborie

      Assuming we are ready to win or close to it then trading for Richardson and a 3rd might be acceptable. I don’t know of anyone who things we are going to the NFC championship this year.

      Previous trades for #3 have netted a lot more than a player and a pick.

      Raiders & Dolphins
      2013 first round pick (#12-D.J. Hayden), 2013 second round pick
      (#42-Menelik Watson) to Raiders for 2013 first round pick (#3-Dion
      Jordan) on 2013-04-25

      Browns & Vikings
      2012 first round pick (#3-Trent Richardson) to Browns for 2012
      first round pick (#4-Matt Kalil), 2012 fourth round pick (#118-Jarius
      Wright), 2012 fifth round pick (#139-Robert Blanton), 2012 seventh round
      pick (#211-Scott Solomon) on 2012-04-26

      49ers & Redskins
      Two 2000 first round picks (#12-Shaun Ellis) (#24-Ahmed Plummer)
      to 49ers for 2000 first round pick (#3-Chris Samuels) on 2000-04-17

      • leftcoast dave

        Bottom line, makes the line killer, gets another third AND BPA at 6 rather than 3. Richardson has only one year left before FA and that motivates.
        I’d love it if the Jets were wantin’ the 3.

    • CanadaBear

      The Jets desperately want to dump Richardson due to a motor that only runs on occasion. Not sure why he’s so unmotivated but I’d be wary of that guy.

      • King of DBB

        Imagine Marc Trestman coaching Sheldon Richardson.

        Richardson would just sit on the bench and drink gatorade all practice long and do crossword puzzles.

        • CanadaBear

          And give Nessman dirty looks.

          • King of DBB

            Nessman would avert his eyes due to his shyness.

          • Bender McLugh

            and tell an assistant to tell the water boy to tell Richardson he needs water to fix his facial expressions

          • Sahr Gborie

            ROTFL

        • Sahr Gborie

          Cant do that with Fox & Fangio

      • leftcoast dave

        FA after this year. Might rev that motor.

  • King of DBB

    Looks like Gisselle told Tommy Terrific that perhaps Trump isn’t good for his brand

    http://deadspin.com/citing-family-reasons-tom-brady-will-not-attend-patrio-1794449407

    • CanadaBear

      I like the article brought up that Tom’s mom underwent cancer treatment 2 years ago. Not trying to make light of the cancer treatments but they were 2 years ago and because of that he is busy today? Huh? Nothing like the press providing cover for you. Life is good at the top.

      • leftcoast dave

        Why rain on the teams parade?

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        for the past 2 years not just 2 years ago.

        • CanadaBear

          Fair enough. Still sounds like weak excuse.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            yep, the real reason, Cutty’s naked ass got so much media attention that Gisselle has him working out like a freak and planning on a re”butt”le photo.

      • willbest

        Then again, I have to book my son’s specialist 5-6 months in advance so who the fuck knows what I would be missing out on.

        • CanadaBear

          Somehow I think Brady probably gets preferential treatment at the Dr’s office, too.

          • willbest

            fair point.

          • CanadaBear

            Who knows? I doubt any of us will ever be running in those circles. Certainly not me.

          • willbest

            Well I would like to think that if I called him up and had a shake the POTUS hand as the reason, the doctor would be accommodating. If nothing else, just to hear what the experience was like.

    • willbest

      I can’t decide if he is being a pussy, or if its just a case where he can go golfing with Trump whenever he likes so meeting him in the WH is NBD.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Hmmm.

    Bullard couldn’t do it, so why will this guy?

    He’s a project kid then, right? They want him to play 3-4 OLB and he’s never done it before?

    If Pace thinks he’s a freak and they can teach him, then okay, toll the dice. If he thinks Adams can be a free safety, okay, roll the dice.

    Curious to see what Pace makes of the non-QBs, and how he rates their value versus say Watson’s ‘future’ value.

    Can he draft a first-rounder and sit them directly afterwards? Yes. Will he?

    Can anyone argue that QB isn’t the biggest spot on a roster?

    If it is, why aren’t we all holding a QB’s ticket?

    • Sahr Gborie

      No one would argue about QB being our biggest need. The question is whether Pace sees Watson as the QB to lead the Bears to the promised land. If he is that QB then you draft him. No questions asked. If you doubt Watson then you skip him and wait till the 3rd or 4th for a QB

    • leftcoast dave

      We are. C. J. Beathard in the fifth with his tight end George Kittle in the 4th.

  • MB30SD
    • AlbertInTucson

      Gracias.

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