CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Browns traded down three spots from No. 64 and into the third round during the NFL Draft.
They used that swap with the Indianapolis Colts to take Miami defensive end Chad Thomas.
How does he fit with the Browns? What are his measureables and what did he say at the combine? Find out below as we dig deeper into Thomas.
How he fits the Browns
Speculation entering the draft pointed to the Browns taking North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb with the fourth overall pick. Instead, they took Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.
The Browns are still strong at defensive end, a position that includes last year’s top pick in Myles Garrett with Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib.
Thomas can fit into that rotation.
A five-star recruit from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, Thomas stayed close to home for college. Who is he? Read this breakdown by Susan Miller Degnan from the Miami Herald.
Strengths: Long, athletic player with good size and great natural strength with room to add bulk to his frame. Has played all along the line and will provide pressure from the edge even if asked to stand up. Enough coordination and speed to chase down plays in the flats when necessary. Shows some hand-fighting ability when he is in one-on-one situations and doesn’t shy away from contact or try to simply speed around blockers.
Weaknesses: Lacks situational awareness at times and loses the forest for the trees. Will bull rush straight up the field all too often and miss a chance to press the pocket, allowing quarterbacks to step up underneath him and complete passes. Can overrun pockets because of one-track mind that seems to favor consistency over variety when it comes to pass rush moves. Gets lulled into repetitive attacks and begins to lean on offensive linemen rather than attack them. Allows too many blockers to get into his body because he stays high and reaches for them at times rather than exploding into them from below.
NFL comparison: Za’Darius Smith, Baltimore Ravens — Like Thomas, Smith never quite provided the college production expected from someone with so much natural athleticism, strength and length. Smith and Thomas can both rush from multiple spots along the line, as well as standing up off the edge, but both will have entered the league with questions about technique, consistency, and polish, despite possessing the raw potential to become a strong player along a team’s defensive front.