Leading up to the NFL Draft many teams will continue their evaluation process on prospects while altering their draft boards in preparation for Draft day. Couch Potato GM will provide you a breakdown of two prospects matched against each other with similar draft projections to get you prepped for the 2017 draft. Voting option below for your input on who you think the better prospect is.
The Matchup: Here’s another showdown of two of the best prospects in the draft. One of them is falling down the draft board while the other has been on the rise since the NFL Combine. If you are an avid follower of CPGM you know that we have been high on both Solomon Thomas and Jonathan Allen throughout the process as both players dominated their competition at the collegiate level. These two prospects are eerily similar based on what was asked of them. Thomas and Allen lined up often as a 5 technique defensive end who slid outside on the edge when necessary in an even man front. There are many evaluators who consider them “tweeners” due to their lack of size to play inside at the next level and their lack of bend and twitchiness to play edge rusher. Thomas is a well-built athlete who ran a 4.69 40-yard dash, put up 30 reps, had a 35 inch vertical jump and dominated the field drills at the combine. On tape he bullied offensive lineman with his raw power and utilized his cat like quickness and technique to get the upper hand in getting into the offensive backfield. He took over games dominating the line of scrimmage. He wasn’t the only one taking games over in this matchup as Allen who played with a litany of future NFL players was the anchor and glue to Nick Saban’s Bama defense. He didn’t kill the combine like Thomas but the tape checked out for Allen as he was a super productive force with his excellent hand usage, agility, strength and ability to hunt the quarterback. There are concerns about his medicals regarding his arthritic shoulders but the talent is too immense for him to slip out of the first half of the draft.
CPGM Headley’s Take: How can you go wrong with either player as both were massive forces along the defensive line for Stanford and Alabama. Solomon Thomas and Jonathan Allen will be immediate Day 1 starters in the NFL who can disrupt the running game with the best of them while bringing a consistent pass rush from inside or outside. I am not worried about positional fit for either of these talented prospects because I have witnessed them dominate in the interior and from the edge. I watched Ohio State product Joey Bosa make a fluid transition to the NFL as a member of the Chargers despite not having top end speed off the edge or twitchiness. The reason I bring Bosa into this conversation is because of how he wins; with hand usage and a relentless motor just like Thomas and Allen. Whether it be a 3-4, 4-3, edge or interior, all these guys know how to win wherever they are lined up on the field. If I were the defensive coordinator I would line these guys up on the edge in running situations and then slide them inside in passing down scenarios. Ok, it’s time for me to get off the fence and give you my pick on who I prefer. The leadership, character and football instincts oozes out of both prospects but I will side with Thomas due to the Allen’s arthritic scare. If you know anything about arthritis, you know it doesn’t get any better. How long will Allen’s shoulders hold up against NFL collisions?
CPGM Drew’s Take: It’s funny how Jonathan Allen was projected by some to be the #1 or #2 prospect overall and now he has fallen due to arthritis in his shoulders. Allen is a special player who can dominate and take over the LOS, causing turnovers, missteps of OL, and mishap exchanges between QB and RB. I know he was a part of that great Alabama defense but when you look back the two most influential players on that team were Allen and Rueben Foster. I believe Allen will be the player that scouts and the draft community thought he was from jump street. With arthritic shoulders how long will he able to play at a position that delivers and receives contact every down? Where would you take him? Whoever drafts Solomon Thomas is getting someone special and when you talk skill set and play he draws comparisons to Aaron Donald among others but in my opinion he reminds me of Michael Bennett. The quickness, explosion, motor, the ability to play inside and out and have no loss of production between the two positions is something to be mindful of. Thomas creates devastation, disruption, and production over and over, rinse and repeat. The immediate impact that these two will have whether they play on a good or bad defense will be seen across the league from Day 1. By the way Solomon Thomas is my #2 DT and DE.
NFL Comparison: Solomon Thomas – Michael Bennett; Jonathan Allen – Fletcher Cox