The Seattle Seahawks need a young edge rusher to pair with and then eventually replace Carlos Dunlap. I specifically point out Dunlap because only three Seahawks had more than 2 sacks in 2021 and one of those was Dunlap. The others were Darrell Taylor (a hybrid linebacker) and Rasheem Green (Green is a free agent).
I do think Green should be re-signed as he had 6.5 sacks and led the team with 15 quarterback hits. However, that might be the high-end of what Green can do. Seattle needs a player with a higher ceiling who can be the next great pass rusher for the team.
This is where San Diego State’s Cameron Thomas comes in. Thomas has first round quality and might go that early in many years but the 2022 NFL draft is deep with edge rushers. Seattle’s unfortunate season means a higher second round draft pick. Thomas should be around when Seattle gets its first pick at number 41.
Cameron Thomas would be a perfect fit for the Seahawks in 2022 NFL draft
Thomas is 6’7″ and 270 pounds and plays with a nasty streak. In 2021, he had 10.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. But last year wasn’t the only season of his three college years he produced. In every year at San Diego State, Thomas had at least 9 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. But last season he grew into becoming a player that will be a force at the NFL level.
One of the things that separates Thomas from his peers is his enormous strength. He constantly pushed offensive linemen backwards when met at the point of attack and pushed the lineman into the backfield.
And Thomas’s strength is a natural gift. He arrived at college at just 235 pounds so he has added 40 pounds but kept his athletics as well. Thomas has the quickness to beat tackles on the outside if needed.
Thomas also doesn’t give up on plays. Seattle likes players who play with chips on their shoulders and got away from that a bit late in the 2010s. This is why Tre Brown was chosen in last year’s draft; He wants to show the world what he can do. Thomas does this as well.
In 2021, Thomas also had an astounding 72 quarterback pressures which led all of FBS. A player who takes downs off doesn’t do this. Yet, Thomas also had 29 run stops, 6th in FBS. Thomas is NFL-ready.
If he plays opposite Dunlap and whoever the new defensive coordinator is allows Dunlap to play his natural defensive end position (unlike whatever Ken Norton, Jr. was trying to do this season), Thomas is going to have a very solid rookie season. By 2023, he could be a Pro Bowler.