The Cincinnati Bengals and all 31 other NFL teams attended Stanford pro day on Thursday where soon-to-be top 10 draft pick Solomon Thomas put his talents on display for NFL coaches and scouts.
Bengals coaches ran drills with Solomon Thomas at Stanford today and Curtis Samuel at Ohio State's Pro Day— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) March 24, 2017
Bengals’ defensive line coach Jacob Burney was reportedly on hand in California to get a close-up look at Thomas, who seems unlikely to fall to the Bengals at No. 9 in 2017 the NFL Draft. Should he drop that far, Solomon, a defensive end, would be a great pick for the Bengals. You can read more about and check out our film review of Thomas’ impressive college career at Stanford here.
Per ESPN, Thomas took part in agility drills at the pro day to test his fluidity, hand violence and ability to stay low while fighting through contact. He stood on his Combine 40-yard dash and bench press marks (4.69 seconds, 30 reps).
Solomon is leaving college a year early after only playing two seasons at Stanford (he didn't get a chance to play in his freshman year). In 2015 as a sophomore, Thomas received All-Pac 12 honorable mention, had 39 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. In his junior season (2016), Thomas solidified his top 10 draft pick status as the Morris Trophy winner, the Sun Bowl MVP, an FWAA All-America second team honor, All-Pac 12 first team honor and countless other awards and acknowledgements. On the season, he had a team-high 62 tackles (41 solo), 15 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries. In his final collegiate game, the Sun Bowl, Thomas registered seven tackles (five solo), 2.0 tackles for loss and one sack against North Carolina, making his final in-game statement to scouts and coaches around the nation.
Should he somehow fall to the Bengals at No. 9, you’d have to think the Bengals will be running to submit his name when the team is on the clock.In Todd McShay’s latest mock draft, released this week, he has Thomas going No. 2 overall to the 49ers. There are many teams in need of pass rushers who have the top eight draft picks, so it would be surprising if Thomas remains on the board when the Bengals are drafting.
Running back Christian McCaffrey was the other big star at the pro day and likely someone the Bengals were also checking out. He did work at both running back and wide receiver to show off his versatility, and also stood on his combine 40-yard dash (4.48 seconds) and bench press (10 reps) numbers, though, his bench press ability left a lot to be desired.
McCaffrey is one of the best running backs in the draft and a 2015 Heisman Trophy finalist. CBS Sports ranks him as the 22nd best played in the draft and a Round 1 pick. They have Thomas as the draft's second best player, and also obviously a first round pick.
Stanford's other draft-eligible players are wide receiver Michael Rector, center/guard Johnny Caspers and kicker Conrad Ukropina. Rector is projected as a seventh round pick or undrafted free agent. In his senior season, he had 32 receptions for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns. Caspers is not expected to be drafted. Ukropina is ranked as CBS Sports' fifth best kicker in the draft, but is expected to be signed as an undrafted free agent. It wouldn't be surprising if the Bengals also gave him a look while in Stanford.