2022 NFL Draft Profile: San Diego State DE Cameron Thomas
The Aztecs’ edge rusher was an integral part of their defense and will be a solid pick this draft.
The 2021 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year looks ready to contribute at the next level.
Cameron Thomas has been selected by the Arizona Cardinals with the 87th overall pick, in the third round of the NFL Draft.
With the 87th pick in the 2022 Draft, the Cardinals select DE Cameron Thomas pic.twitter.com/hoV2NAVG57
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 30, 2022
San Diego State has been a top defensively-minded program in FBS for years now. Redshirt junior Cameron Thomas fit Brady Hoke’s ideal athlete: a long, lean defender who enjoys going after the quarterback.
Cameron Thomas is a “buy low, sell high” guy despite the Group of 5 label. He’s big and lean enough to get to the quarterback and would flourish in 4-3 schemes. There is tremendous upside in his skill set and continuing pursuit when opponents are scrambling to get out of the backfield. He’s game-time ready and will be able to see snaps in 2022.
Measurables (taken from Mockdraftable and Dane Brugler)
Height – 6′ and 4 1/8″
Weight – 267 pounds
40-yard time – N/A
10-yard split time – N/A
Arm length – 32 1/2″
Hand size – 10 1/4″
Wingspan – 78 7/8″
Vertical jump – 33 1/2″
Broad jump – 9′ and 2″ (or 110″)
Shuttle time – 4.25 seconds
3-cone drill time – 6.91 seconds
Bench press – 24 reps
Thomas is a 6-foot-5, 270-lb junior with a high IQ to maneuver out of blocks and into the opponents’ backfield. The defensive end saw double-teams to mitigate his athleticism in his time as an Aztec. But his prototypical NFL size and speed propelled him past offensive lines and into the face of quarterbacks. In the trenches, he’s been able to use his quickness to move laterally away from linemen and hunt the opposing running backs.
He started as a redshirt freshman in 2019 but being a part of the team in 2018 prepared him to get acclimated fast. His rapid ascent on defense got him all-Mountain West First Team in 2019 as a freshman.
At the pro level, Thomas will encounter heftier offensive linemen who will be able to block him off the line of scrimmage and might not need an additional blocker. It was easy to match up with similar-sized frames in the Mountain West, but going up against NFL veterans will be a challenge. According to scouts, the Carlsbad local has below average arm length and his technique might not be able to cover that physical limitation.
Sam Hubbard, J.J. Watt
Some NFL mock drafts have him as high as the late first round, but most predict him picked in the second round. Mountain West Wire predicts Cameron Thomas goes in the second round to the Pittsburgh Steelers.