Seahawks 2021 Draft Profile: Ambry Thomas

John Schneider will have to play the part of magician to turn three total draft picks into something more in order to build Seattle back into Super Bowl contention. Cornerback continues to be a focal point and there is a former Wolverine later in the draft that could give the defense a boost.
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There is still plenty of competition to be had for the two starting cornerback spots in Seattle. An argument can be made in favor of Tre Flowers, Ahkello Witherspoon, or D.J. Reed getting either spot.

Nonetheless, the Seahawks likely are not satisfied with the amount of options they have for those two spots. Flowers has receive numerous chances to mixed results. Witherspoon has had an up-and-down career since being selected in the third round by San Francisco in 2017. Reed showed heart and toughness after being thrown into the rotation, but Seattle might not view him as a long-term starter based on his lack of size at less than 5-foot-10 and under 200 pounds. 

Ambry Thomas is a speedy corner out of Michigan that has a chance to compete right away if the Seahawks make him one of their three selections in this month's draft.

Strengths

Though Thomas is under six feet tall, at 5-foot-11, he possesses a 75 2/8-inch wingspan. What sets him apart is his speed. During Michigan's pro day, he clocked in at 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which is in the top 15 among those measured during their respective pro days. For perspective, both Tre Flowers and Witherspoon came in at 4.45 seconds coming out of college.

Thomas displays excellent ball skills, with four interceptions in his final two seasons and three passes defended in 2019. Pete Carroll likes his corners physical and tough and Thomas shows that on the field, never shying away from a physically imposing receiver and punches up from his weight class.

With quick hips, he is able to change direction and adjust to the ball along with the receiver. There likely will not be many receivers in the NFL, if any, who can outrun Thomas. 

Weaknesses

The glaring storyline is the fact that Thomas opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns. While that shouldn't be used as a knock on his game, teams may be concerned with his lack of tape from the most recent season. 

If there is a weakness in Thomas' game, it is that he is not the most willing tackler in the run game among corners, which may concern Carroll. 

There are certainly bigger cornerbacks in the draft but not many with Thomas' speed. However, his sheer lack of girth may lead to the bigger receivers in the NFL out-muscling him. 

Fit in Seattle

Thomas played mostly man press schemes at Michigan, which isn't exactly what he would play in Seattle. The coaches would be betting on his speed and athleticism while he learns Seattle's defensive playbook on the fly. 

If the Seahawks were to select Thomas, he would bring a different set of skills to the cornerback room than most of the others already there. He is faster than Flowers or Witherspoon and larger than Reed. 

Thomas is likely a late-day two or early day three pick. He may still be on the board when the Seahawks pick at No. 129, unless they trade down from No. 56 and accumulate another day three pick, making him a strong candidate to help bolster the secondary.