Jets Add Former No. 3 Overall Pick, Robert Saleh Disciple: Report

Solomon Thomas, Raiders

Getty Former Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Solomon Thomas drinking some water during training camp.

The New York Jets have added some more talent to their defense.

On Monday, March 28, Brian Costello of the New York Post announced on social media that the green and white were signing defensive end Solomon Thomas.

Adam Schefter of ESPN later confirmed that the contract was a one-year deal.

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Some Much Needed Depth on the DL

Thomas originally entered the league as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft out of Stanford by the San Francisco 49ers.

He crossed over for four seasons with current Jets head coach Robert Saleh from 2017 through 2020.

After leaving the 49ers once his rookie contract expired, the veteran defensive lineman signed a one-year deal in 2021 to join the Las Vegas Raiders.

In his five seasons in the pros, Thomas has put up some respectable numbers:

  • 9.5 sacks
  • Over 129 total tackles
  • 35 quarterback hits

This will add some much-needed depth to a defensive line that Saleh likes to keep fresh with a constant rotation. Thomas knows the scheme, is familiar with the head coach, and has unbelievable upside as a former top-three pick.

Untapped Potential

Thomas was supposed to be a really good player, just look at his original draft status, however, it is fair to say he never lived up to those lofty expectations.

The veteran defensive lineman was born in Chicago, Illinois however he spent several years of his youth in Australia developing his skills. All of that manifested as he went through the high school ranks and became one of the hottest names in all of recruiting.

The 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive lineman had two very productive years in college that showed glimpses of potential:

  • 12 sacks
  • 98 total tackles
  • 24.5 tackles for loss

Thomas has some nice scheme versatility where he can line up as a 4-3 end or switch inside to make some plays happen by penetrating the pocket.

Here is what NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein had to say about him coming out of the draft, “Thomas has the potential to become the best defender from this draft class and a future all-pro.”

Thomas has had some really rough moments in his life that have affected him significantly. One of those included the death of his sister, Ella Elizabeth Thomas by suicide in 2018.

After going through that very intense situation, Thomas and his family decided to create a foundation that would honor Ella.

Tashan Reed of The Athletic did a full-length feature going into deep detail about the official launch of “The Defensive Line Foundation” which is solely dedicated to ending the epidemic of youth suicide.

That completely changed how Thomas looked at life and his football career. Now at just 26 years of age (will be 27 by the start of the 2022 season), he is ready for a career renaissance on his third NFL team.

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