Although cornerback is easily the Philadelphia Eagles’ biggest need, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas should interest the team in the draft.
The Philadelphia Eagles have many needs to address this offseason. The defensive line isn’t the biggest issue, but it still needs to be addressed. After the release of Connor Barwin, the Eagles have a noticeable hole at defensive end. Not to forget, Bennie Logan is now a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.
There is no debate. Defensive line is not their biggest need. Could it become a need? Yes, but there’s no way it will become dire as their need for a corner. In free agency, the Eagles attacked their biggest need at wide receiver. The signing of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, did just the trick.
Then there’s the cornerback position. Although the Eagles have struck out on big names before, it’s still a position that has many quality free agents. Even after nearly a week, borderline starting cornerbacks are still roaming the market. Also, the draft would be a great place to address this need, as CBS Sports has ranked fourteen corners with a first or second round grade, meaning the Eagles could still grab a quality corner in the draft, even if it happens to be in a later round.
Finally, the biggest need, just slightly ahead of a defensive linemen, is running back. However, history of the NFL Draft has shown us quality running backs can be found in later rounds of the draft. Take David Johnson for example, who was selected in the third round. Thomas Rawls, was undrafted. And yes, even Eagles legend DeMarco Murray was selected in the third round. The point is, the Eagles can find a quality running back on Day 2 or 3 of the draft.
Aside from those three positions, defensive line is the biggest need.
With that said, the Eagles should have quite a bit of interest in Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. Standing at 6’3″ and weighing in at 275 pounds, Thomas appears to be too small to play defensive tackle, but not quite long enough, or quick enough to play on the edge. This may cause him to slip quite a bit on the draft, possibly to the Eagles at pick 14.
Now, the question may be, if he has issues with his size, why in the world would the Eagles select him? Although he does in fact have issues when it comes to size, Thomas appears to have no issues elsewhere. Everything in his game seems to be at an above average level.
One part of his game that is easily the best is his hands. Using them at the line with power and finesse, Thomas gets by blocks quickly and has a knack for getting to the quarterback.
Where he truly exceeds is his massive array of pass rush moves. His hands and feet work in unison, as he can surprise an opposing lineman at any moment. Spin move, a sharp cut, or just pure power, Solomon reeks havoc on opposing offenses.
Thomas is very similar to Aaron Donald. Considered to small, but had no real knocks on his skill set. Now Donald is arguably the best defender in the entire NFL, and many even talk about how he uses his size to his advantage. Size, though a factor, does not have to be the deciding factor, especially for someone like Thomas, who’s drawn comparisons to J.J. Watt, by Lance Zierlein.
Thomas’ size could cause him slip in the draft, and if he falls to the Eagles, it would almost be a no-brainer of a pick. Even trading up to snag him wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. Someone with that skill set provides an insane amount of value to a football team. Thomas could pair up with whoever is left after the off-season, and create an absolute force. Thomas could put the Eagles’ defense over the top, and could be worth a pick, assuming all other needs are addressed.