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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan

The Giants appear to need some depth at cornerback and Michigan's Ambry Thomas can not only deliver that, but he also might be able to contribute as a kickoff returner.

CB AMBRY THOMAS

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 182 lbs.
Class: Senior
School: Michigan


He is a former four-star recruit out of Detroit, Michigan, where he attended Martin Luther King High School. He was the second-ranked Michigan recruit, and the 93rd nationally ranked recruit in the 2017 class, according to 247 Sports.

He recorded 54 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, four interceptions, three passes defended, and five fumbles recovered in three years of play for Michigan. 

He was an All Big-10 honoree in 2019, and he won the team’s Defensive Skill Player’s Award. Thomas was also a kick returner who had one kick off returned for a touchdown.


Notables

He missed most of the 2019 training camp with colitis. He opted out of the 2020 season and accepted an invitation to the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. 


Traits

Thomas has solid height and is a bit lean with good length and skinny legs. He has solid athletic ability for a cornerback; his deep speed isn’t his strength on tape, his hips are fluid enough, and his acceleration is okay. 

He possesses enough burst and change of direction to play in the NFL, but it doesn’t stand out as difference-making--however, his transitions in coverage are fine. He predominantly played boundary cornerback, but he has experience playing safety and in the slot, so he is versatile.

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He has solid overall footwork at the line of scrimmage in press coverage. He opens his gate a bit early at times and could stand to be a bit more disciplined in this area. He does get caught flat-footed when he’s not playing “cut” technique, and that puts him into disadvantageous situations - Feet could be a bit more active at the line of scrimmage..

He has solid fluidity in his hips to turn. He does well in the press, despite the lack of ideal technique when he can one-hand jam, turn, and ride receivers to the desired location. 

He would be a better overall player at the line if he consistently lowered his stance--he can pop up after the snap. He is physical at the line of scrimmage, and he does a solid job with two hand jams.

Overall, he’s solid in man coverage. He does a solid job turning and running with receivers up their stem. Deep speed doesn’t seem to be his strength, and he can stay in phase on horizontal crosses if he handles his technique well at the line of scrimmage--Thomas has to be a bit more disciplined and better with his technique at the line.


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They played a lot more man coverage than zone but seemed to see the field well when in zone. He gets to the desired depth and does a solid job planting and driving downhill on underneath throws--having man coverage experience will help him in the NFL. He has good ball skills and brings some disruptive ability to the catch point.

He is undersized and doesn’t bring all that much in run support; he has the want to be effective but isn’t a great tackler. He lunges into tackles and brings marginal play strength against running backs. Lacks desired open field tackling abilities - misses too often. 

Overall, Thomas is a potential early Day 3 selection who can play man coverage at a solid rate. He has to be more consistent with his technique and become a better tackler at the point of attack; his lack of size will affect his ability in run support and against bigger wide receivers at the catch point. 


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