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Finding 58: Thornhill Would Bring Position Flex


FRISCO, Texas – Somehow, it's draft season once again.

The offseason is flying by, and the 2019 NFL Draft is set to start next week. 

This year is different from other ones, as the Cowboys' trade for Amari Cooper leaves them without a first-round pick this month. With their first selection coming at pick No. 58, it's a bit more challenging to identify their targets.

Still, by paying attention to their pre-draft movements, it's possible to get an idea for what the Cowboys are thinking this year. The goal of this series is to identify their targets at the back end of the second round.

The series continues with Virginia safety Juan Thornhill.

  • Name: Juan Thornhill
  • Position: Safety
  • College: Virginia
  • Height/Weight: 6-0 / 205
  • Honors: First-team All-ACC as a safety in 2018 and third-team All-ACC cornerback in 2017.
  • Key Stat: Seven career picks as a cornerback and six as a safety.

How's His Stock: Thornhill finds himself right in the pack of a handful of safeties that could likely go anywhere from the late first round to the end of the second. It'll come down to personal preference and scheme on safeties such as Thornhill, who is rangy with his cornerback traits and his ball-hawking skills of a safety. Many projections have Thornhill going off the board before the Cowboys pick at 58, but stranger things have and will happen. 

How He Could Help: He would help the Cowboys because safety is the one real need facing the club heading into the draft. Thornhill has the ability to track down ballcarriers behind the line of scrimmage but he's more than a box safety. He had six interceptions last year for the Cavaliers. His history of playing corner not only enhances his position flex, but you know how much Kris Richard covets long, rangy corners and so the Cowboys might have a different view for Thornhill in the secondary. 

Scouting Report: Has some reaction skills. Turns to find the ball. Can cover some ground. Has the quickness to close the cushion. Can drive on the ball. Reads and wraps up as a tackler. Plays with awareness. Needs to take some better angles at times. Needs to play the ball down the field better. Can play underneath in coverage. Smooth runner. Good in transition. Like to see him a little heavier weight wise for the physical play. Best trait he has is his ability to read and react. Ran well at the Combine which matches his ability on tape. – Bryan Broaddus.

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