Solomon Thomas declared for the draft today. Don’t expect him to be available for the Seahawks.
Thomas took part in the 2013 Nike Sparq Combine and look at the results:
Short shuttle: 4.25s
Vertical: 36.7 inches
Only the following players had a better SPARQ score in the 2013 event:
Curtis Samuel (WR, Ohio State) — 126.78
Speedy Noil (WR, Texas A&M) — 153.51
Ed Paris (CB, LSU) — 130.8
Christian Miller (LB, Alabama) — 124.17
Terry McLaurin (WR, Ohio State) — 141.96
Trey Marshall (CB, Florida State) — 126.99
Adoree’ Jackson (CB, USC) — 122.77
Elijiah Hood (RB, North Carolina) — 133.47
Nick Chubb (RB, Georgia) — 143.91
Shaun Hamilton (LB, Alabama) — 123.84
Lorenzo Carter (LB, Georgia) — 129.75
Tony Brown (CB, Alabama) — 136.2
Braxton Berrios (WR, Miami) — 131.37
Dillon Bates (LB, Tennessee) — 126.69
Joey Alfieri (LB, Stanford) — 131.28
Kavin Alexander (CB, Arkansas State) — 123.78
Notice the lack of defensive linemen on that list? Of those taking part in the nationwide Nike combines, Thomas was by far the most athletic D-liner. His SPARQ number is superior to the following:
Jamal Adams (S, LSU) — 117.63
Budda Baker (S, Washington) — 110.94
Derek Barnett (DE, Tennessee) — 109.92
Dalvin Cook (RB, Florida State) — 110.64
Malachi Dupre (WR, LSU) — 120.72
Royce Freeman (RB, Oregon) — 121.17
Christian Kirk (WR, Texas A&M) — 115.83
Deshone Kizer (QB, Notre Dame) — 74.88
Joe Mixon (RB, Oklahoma) — 105.33
Cam Robinson (T, Alabama) — 97.5
Travis Rudolph (WR, Florida State) — 107.01
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, USC) — 94.35
Jalen Tabor (CB, Florida) — 93.69
DeShaun Watson (QB, Clemson) — 96.93
Quincy Wilson (CB, Florida) — 97.65
His time in the short shuttle (4.25 seconds) would’ve been the fourth best time at the 2016 NFL combine for defensive linemen. Only Alex McCalister (4.00), Joey Bosa (4.21) and Shaq Lawson (4.21) ran faster than a 4.25.
Thomas’ vertical jump of 36.7 inches would’ve come second only to Dadi Nicolas’ 41 inch effort. The second best effort was Emmanuel Ogbah’s 35.5 inches.
The powerball is arguably a greater test of translatable strength compared to the bench press. Thomas’ score of 44 was only beaten at the 2013 Nike combines by Dante Booker Jr. (45.5).
The only think stopping him reaching the freakish SPARQ score of +130 is an average forty yard dash of 4.95 seconds. It’s worth noting that Joey Bosa only ran a 4.85 and Robert Nkemdiche a 4.87. Thomas ran this time at a lighter 261lbs. He’s currently listed at 273lbs but would ideally get into the 4.8’s after specific pre-combine speed training.
It’s not even that important really. Ultimately his 10-yard split time is the thing to keep an eye on.
This is a very intriguing pre-college physical profile and there’s every chance he’s more athletic now after a few years at Stanford.
Thomas took over the Sun Bowl against North Carolina with a statement performance. He lived in the backfield, winning with quickness off the edge, power working the interior and creating several splash plays. He had the play of the game — crashing into the backfield on a two-point attempt with UNC trying to tie with seconds remaining.
On this evidence he’s a top-15 lock and the top ten isn’t unrealistic either.
He lines up at DT a lot and moves around. In one sack against Notre Dame he engages the right guard and then uses the center/DT battling to his right almost as a shield to loop around and get to Deshone Kizer. It’s a creative way to get to the QB — highlighting his game awareness and not just his physicality.
Notre Dame often doubled teamed him in that game. He drew two false start flags on the same drive.
This is Thomas at his best working the interior:
Even without good pad level Solomon Thomas mows over the RG here. pic.twitter.com/Jo7MXbRkcl
— Justen Gammel (@gamscout) October 3, 2016
That said, you do occasionally find plays like this:
It’s hard to imagine Alamaba’s Jonathan Allen toiling with a tiny running back sent in to help out an overmatched O-liner. In fairness the running back does a good job here and really helps out the lineman — but Thomas needs to throw him to one side.
When he plays with the fire and attitude we saw against North Carolina he was virtually unstoppable. Playing with that level of intensity snap-by-snap is crucial to deliver on his massive potential. Let’s see that nasty edge every week. If he maintains that spark — he can be a special player at the next level.