Cameron Thomas NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Arizona Cardinals' EDGEApril 30, 2022
HEIGHT: 6'4 1/8"
HAND: 10 1/4"
ARM: 32 1/2"
WINGSPAN: 6'6 7/8"
40-YARD DASH: DNP
— Smooth mover. Plays light on his feet and works tight areas well.
— Good hand usage. Always looking to counter and does well to free himself after initial engagement.
— Good flexibility. Can contort himself through contact and keep moving.
— Found success as a gap-shooter. Knows how to get skinny.
— Above-average instincts against the run. Feels blocks developing well and responds accordingly.
— Played all over the line at SDSU throughout his career.
— Poor anchor against the run. Gets moved off his spot too regularly.
— Leg drive stalls out as a pass-rusher. Lacks juice.
— Below-average snap get-off. Mostly relies on timing it up.
— Not a true bender around the edge. Average at best in that respect.
14 G, 71 TOT, 20.5 TFL, 11.5 SK, 1 FF
— 2019 first-team All-Mountain West (Coaches), 2020 first-team All-Mountain West (Coaches/Media), 2021 first-team All-American (AP).
— Three-year starter.
— 3-star prospect in 2018.
Cameron Thomas played all over the line at San Diego State, but he will likely be best as a stock-standard 4-3 defensive end in the NFL.
Thomas' physical tools do not pop off the screen. His ability to get off the ball leaves a little something to be desired. He also doesn't tend to explode when engaging, either in his lower body or through his hands. Thomas is more fluid than he is explosive, showcasing good body control in space and the ability to contort his body through contact to work free. He also has enough speed to make plays once he cuts into the backfield.
In the run game, Thomas is a mixed bag. He sees blocks developing well, which he takes advantage of with how well he uses his hands to keep blockers off of him. Pair that with his knack for getting skinny in congested areas, and there is certainly something with which to work. With that said, his below-average anchor lets him get moved off his spot regularly, especially against combos or double-teams.
As a pass-rusher, Thomas' skill set fits best as a role player. Thomas does not quite have the pure bend or acceleration to consistently win outside, nor does he have the juice to be an overwhelming power rusher. Instead, his nimble short-area movement and high-end hand usage would function best as a cleanup player and twist piece. He knows how to keep fighting and work himself free; he just does not have the tools to win right away like some of the best.
Thomas can be a decent No. 3 defensive end early on thanks to his fluidity and hand usage to work himself free. If he strengthens his anchor a bit, Thomas could work into a starting role down the line. However, his ceiling may always be capped by his middling explosive ability.
GRADE: 7.2 (3rd Round - High-Level Backup/Potential Starter)
OVERALL RANK: 89
POSITION RANK: EDGE12
PRO COMPARISON: Morgan Fox
Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen