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The Arizona Cardinals selected San Diego State edge defender Cameron Thomas 87th overall in the 2022 NFL, the first of their two selections in the third round.
He is 6-4, 267 lbs and had a ton of production last season for San Diego State. He had 11.5 sacks and an eye-popping 20.5 tackles for loss.
The Cardinals obviously were fans of his pass-rushing production, but that wasn’t what they liked best.
Arizona’s vice president of player personnel, Quentin Harris, was a guest on The Dave Pasch Podcast and spoke about Thomas. He called him “super athletic,” but he gushed about his versatility, his personality and his style of play.
“What you love about Cam is you loved his interview, you loved the intensity and you love the way he played the game,” Harris explained. “And also with Cam, he showed some ability to put his hand on the ground and play some of the five, play some of the outside backer stuff due to his athleticism.”
Thomas played as an interior defender up until last season for the Aztecs. That will give him the ability to potentially do what both J.J. Watt and Zach Allen already are able to do — play inside and outside.
That wasn’t all.
“We really loved his motor, his temperament,” Harris said, and added that Thomas adds an element of leadership. “We wanted to bring in guys who have that leadership ability and Cam was one of those guys. Even though he was a younger guy, he showed leadership ability and we loved that.”
Thomas would have lots of opportunities to show off his play in 2022 as a rookie. Markus Golden will start on one side and Devon Kennard currently projects as a start on the other side, but Thomas should be able to get lots of pass-rushing opportunities as Kennard is a better base player than pass rusher.
But Thomas comes as a very intriguing player as a rookie. He had production and he has athleticism, effort and should fit in the locker room.
He feels like a player you can’t go wrong with.