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Scouting Solomon Thomas: Projecting the possibilities

Can Solomon Thomas be the Bengals’ long-term replacement for Michael Johnson? First, the Bengals will need to actually get their hands on him, which may not be possible with the No. 9 pick.

The Cincinnati Bengals have a problem. Only two members of the club’s defensive line—Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap—are good at generating pressure on opposing quarterbacks. To remedy that, Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas would be an excellent addition in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft for the Bengals.

There was a point in which Thomas was the most popular mock draft pick for the Bengals. But now, he’s expected to be a top-five pick and no sure bet to make it to the Bengals with the first single digit draft pick.

If he makes it to Cincinnati with pick No. 9, in his first year, he could spend time on the outside rotating with Michael Johnson and moving inside on passing downs. At only 6’3” and 270 pounds he may not be the behemoth that the Bengals typically deploy but he is a very talented player who could provide great help for what is a depleted Bengals defensive line devoid of impact players other than Dunlap and Atkins. On top of that, Paul Guenther said the Bengals would not rule out taking a player simply because he doesn’t fit the Bengals’ typical size requirements for defensive ends.

Thomas is a great player and had a great workout at the Scouting Combine, which boosted his draft stock and make it less likely that he is going to make it to the ninth pick. On the off chance he does, we’ll have this to come back to in an effort to see how much havoc he can wreak on the Bengals’ defensive line.


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