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Prospect Profiles: NT Cam Thomas (North Carolina)

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Cam Thomas is a BIG Defensive Linemen who played at North Carolina last year and not a player I even considered profiling until I saw a mock draft online have the Giants select him there in the second round of the draft, and I said to myself I guess it’s a possibility so I’ll let you guys know what Cam Thomas is all about.

Measurables (nfl.com/combine)

6’4. 330 pounds. 34 and 3/4 inch arms. 10.5 inch hands.31 reps in the bench press.

Big, strong man.

Stats

Career: 83 tackles, 3 sacks, 0 forced fumbles.

2009: 23 tackles.

Big Games: @ Georia Tech  6 tackles

To say Cam Thomas was a productive player in college would be a gross overstatement or an outright hyperbole. The question is why wasn’t he productive?

Scouting Reports

ESPN Scouts Inc.

Production 3 “2005: Redshirts. 2006: (12/0) 18 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack. 2007: (8/3) 8 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF. 2008: (13/13) 34 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack. 2009: (13/13) 23 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 BK.”
Height-Weight-Speed 2 Prototypical height and bulk for a two-gap DT/NT. Decent speed for his size but speed is of little value to his position/role.
Durability 3 Played in all 26 games during his final two seasons. Missed five games in 2007 due to a lingering sprained ankle injury. Keeping weight in check will always be a challenge during pro career.
Intangibles 3 No off the field issues to our knowledge. Showed he will battle through injuries throughout his career.
Defensive Tackle specific Traits
Strength/Toughness 2 “Lacks explosive power. But he’s big, thick and has good overall strength for a wide-body DT. Plays hard when he isn’t gassed. Decent condition for a 330-pound DT. “
Quickness(hands/feet) 3 “Initial quickness is adequate at best. Comes out of stance low and has a decent first step for such a big DT. Will rarely penetrate and make plays in the backfield. Wins with power not quickness. Hand quickness is above average for a two-gap DT, though. “
Versus the Run 1 Comes out of his stance with great leverage. Does not have explosive initial pop but he keeps pad level and rarely gives up ground. He does a good job of locking out arms and driving the lineman back into the backfield. Shows great awareness in locating the ball and frequently will disengage in time to get involved in pursuit versus the inside run.
Pass Rush Skills 4 “Offers very little in terms of sack production. Occasionally will collapse the pocket up the middle and force the quarterback to sidestep rush, but typically fails to make an impact. Lacks explosive power to effectively bull rush stronger interior offensive linemen. Gets worn down quickly when asked to chase the QB too much. Also gets fooled easily on the screen pass. “

Big Board Rankings

ESPN Scouts Inc. 50

Draft Board Insider 71

Drafttek.com 74

Where the Mocks Have him Falling

Footballs Future. 2nd round pick #47 New York Giants.

walterfootball.com 2nd round pick #50 Kansas City Chiefs

Walterfootball.com (Mcguire mock) 2nd round pick #60 San Diego Chargers

NFldraftsite.com 3rd round pick #92 San Diego Chargers

Bartolis Summary and Final Verdict

Cam Thomas is a huge bodied, two down NFL player who has tremendous upside as a run stopping, gap clogging Defensive linemen in the N.F.L. Most people peg Cam Thomas has strictly a 3-4 Nose Tackle and I don’t necessarily think that’s the case. Although it’d be unique to have a man of his size and what he does play in a 4-3 as a run stopping tackle and a guy who takes up blockers I’ve never ruled out that possibility. Pat Williams (nfl.com) is listed at 317 pounds (seems light to me) and he’s not really the most mobile Defensive linemen in the world and he’s had an excellent career as a 4-3 DT, although I think he’s a little quicker than Cam Thomas is.

Bartolis Final Verdict

Cam Thomas was not productive at U.N.C. a lot of people will argue that it was the system that he played in and that it’s not indictative of his abilities. Thomas has impressed a lot of scouts so far in the off-season leading up to the draft, but I wouldn’t be super excited if the Giants drafted him. I’m skepitcal of players who aren’t productive, especially at schools like North Carolina, which are not super football powerhouses.

Now, my wife is a Bills fan and we watch all of the Bills games and I think Cam Thomas would make an excellent addition to the Buffalo Bills becuase they are moving to a 3-4 and they need Someone who can play the NT position in the 3-4, but I’m not sure that it would be a great addition in the early part of the second round. Cam Thomas is probably the Second or third best 3-4 nose tackle prospect in the draft (behind Dan Williams and Terrence Cody) so his stock will be higher than his talent level and productivity suggests. I think he’ll be gone before the third round, if I was the Giants third round might interest me, if I was running the Bills third round would excite me.

But, I think Cam Thomas is going to be gone before the third round and will be taken by the Browns, Bills, Dolphins, Cheifs, Chargers or maybe a wild card would be the Colts who could finally add some much needed DL beef they could use along the goal lines or against run heavy teams like the Dolphins. (I know he doesn’t fit the system, but their system doesn’t always work, especially against the run).

In Conclusion, I dont love the idea of drafting Cam Thomas. I don’t like it in the second round, it’s eh in the third round, it’s run up to the podium in the fourth round or later though becuase he’d provide excellent value and if the Giants (hypothetically got MacClain in the first round) would make it impossible to run on with Canty, tuck, Kiwanuka, and Thomas along the defensive line.

Previous Profiles

LB Navorro Bowman

Athlete Dexter McCluster

CB Joe Haden

S Nate Allen

Jason Pierre Paul

DT Geno Atkins

DT Lamarr Houston

RB Jahvid Best

OT Trent Williams

Derrick Morgan

OL Mike Iupati

S Chad Jones

OLB/DE Sergio Kindle

Sean Weatherspoon

ILB Sean Lee

S Eric Berry

OT Bruce Campbell

ILB Daryl Washington

DT/NT Dan Williams (Updated with K.C. Joyner’s Draft Lab 2/7)

CB Kyle Wilson

DT Jared Odrick

DE Carlos Dunlap

ILB Micah Johnson

DT Arthur Jones

OT Bryan Baluga

OT Anthony Davis (UPDATED 2/5/10)

DT Brian Price

ILB Brandon Spikes

S Earl Thomas

ILB Rolando McClain

RB C.J. Spiller

S Taylor Mays


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