The Dallas Morning News

DE/DT SOLOMON THOMAS

- BaD Radio BOB STURM Twitter: @sportsstur­m

Bob Sturm, SportsDay special contributo­r and co-host of

for KTCK (AM 1310/ FM 96.7)), is breaking down his top 50 NFL draft prospects. We’ll publish one each Sunday leading up to the draft. For his profiles, visit SportsDayD­FW .com.

About Thomas

College: Stanford (Coppell High School)

Height/weight: 6-3, 275 Class: Sophomore

Notable: 27 games, 111⁄2 sacks and 251⁄2 tackles for loss in two years. First-team All-Pac 12 in 2016.

Everyone speaks of Arlington’s Myles Garrett as the best defensive end in the draft. Well, the best defensive tackle prospect is also a Dallas-Fort Worth product and has shown at the major college level that he has an amazing future.

Positives

When I think of War Daddy (a term recently used by Jerry Jones to describe elite pass rushers), I think of Fletcher Cox and Aaron Donald, two players from past drafts who were taken in years when the Cowboys needed DT help. Thomas is that type of player. He has excellent athleticis­m and a very high ceiling of talent as he continues to develop into his frame.

Now, it is important to note that Thomas is a redshirt sophomore, so he has played only two years of college football, and thus his stats are not quite as mind-boggling as some of the others we look at. But from a tape standpoint of jaw-dropping destructio­n of college guards in his path, he is off the charts. His power and short area quickness are gifts that seem wasted at DE, but when he is lined up inside — which I assume will be his home in the NFL — he can absolutely humiliate big men in front of him.

He can do whatever you want in short spaces, from beating a man at the snap to slicing through a double team. His final college game, a bowl win vs. North Carolina, is a three-hour clinic on why this Coppell product appears destined to be an NFL star for years to come. A tremendous motor and will to fight all day long make him an enticing talent.

Concerns

While he can handle things on the outside at DE, I think a big part of the NFL process is finding where a player can be special. I believe that is to use his skill set similar to Cox and Donald at DT to probe his way to space inside. He is so good as a 3-technique candidate.

You might be concerned about his numbers, but with the way Stanford rotates guys and balances roles, it is not an issue. Otherwise, I see no real concerns. He is a blue-chip prospect.

Potential fit for the Cowboys

Let’s be honest: I assume we will see him taken in the first half of the first round. If the Cowboys want to get to the hometown talent, it will cost them quite a bit. On top of that, they have to believe that Tyrone Crawford and Maliek Collins have them squared away at the coveted 3-technique for the immediate future.

That said, Thomas’ ceiling seems far beyond what it is for those two. I wouldn’t recommend chasing him with so many other valid targets on the edge, but he would look amazing in a Cowboys uniform.

 ?? 2013 File Photo ?? Before emerging as an elite NFL draft prospect at Stanford, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas terrorized opposing quarterbac­ks while playing for Coppell.
2013 File Photo Before emerging as an elite NFL draft prospect at Stanford, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas terrorized opposing quarterbac­ks while playing for Coppell.
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