Photo credit: Icon Sportswire
Author: Jon Kuzma
Myles Garrett is almost a sure lock to go number 1 in the NFL draft but there are plenty of other defensive ends in the draft that can still provide a huge impact. Two players in particular are Solomon Thomas and Jonathan Allen. Solomon Thomas was a Pack 12 stand out who earned All American status and was the Pack 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. Thomas is 6’3 276 pounds and really blew away scouts at the NFL Combine. Thomas recorded 30 bench press reps, ran a 4.69 40 yard dash, and broad jumped 126 inches. Those are freak of nature results and now Thomas has significantly improved his stock. That could ultimately catapult Thomas into a top 5 pick and it just goes to show the things you can accomplish when you work hard. Solomon Thomas was clearly well prepared for the NFL Draft and the numbers really showed how much Thomas wants to be great. Many draft board now have Thomas going number 2 overall to the San Francisco 49ers. So it’s definitely been a huge trend upward for the former Stanford Defensive End Solomon Thomas.
Jonathan Allen on the other hand was a Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski award winning defender. Those honors are given to the top defender on the best defense in the entire nation and that speaks volumes about the type of player Jonathan Allen is. Allen didn’t grade out quite as impressively as Thomas did at the combine but sometimes being a “football player” is more important than combine results. The Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski honors tell you that bottom line Jonathan Allen knows how to play football and he does it very effectively. Allen is 6’3 286 pounds so he can play inside at defensive tackle or kick out and play defensive end. Allen recorded 21 bench press reps, a 5.00 second 40 yard dash, and a 108 inch broad jump. Again don’t immediately suggest that Solomon Thomas is going to be the better player here because there is a reason Allen was the top defender in all of college football last year and there is a reason Allen has went to 2 straight National Championship games. It’s because Allen consistently dominates when it comes to being on the field and in football situations. Sometimes those instincts are better than performing well in football drills.
Truthfully Solomon Thomas and Jonathan Allen are two extremely talented defenders and right now it’s too close to tell who will be the better player. It feels like Thomas might have ran Allen’s spot with a strong combine performance and that could lead to Thomas being drafted over Allen. At the end of the day though these are two great football players and they will both really help out an NFL franchise.
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