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Scouting Report: Thornton Brings Versatility, Power To Dallas D-Line

Name: Cedric Thornton
Position: DT         
College: Southern Arkansas        
Height: 6-4
Weight: 309   
Draft: Undrafted in 2011

Games Studied: 2015 vs. Dallas, Miami, Carolina

Report:Thornton lined up as a defensive end in Philadelphia's 3-4 scheme, but he should project as a one or three-technique defensive tackle for the Cowboys.

There are snaps where you see him playing reduced down inside, over the guard. He has nice short area quickness and plays with a burst. When he hits the gap, he can go. He plays well laterally – an important trait for a one-tech – and he will work down the line and chase the ball.

This is not the type of player that is going to stand around and allow the grass to die under his feet. He plays on the move, and he does a good job of fighting off the block. Against Dallas last year, he was snatched one time by Travis Frederick before he knew it and was taken out of the play.

One thing you notice from Thornton is he has upper body power and strength. I was impressed with the way that he was able to walk Zack Martin back on a couple of different pass rushes. He doesn't have many pass rush moves – it's more about initial quickness and power. He can put the blocker in a bad position and he can get push. You'll see him spin to try and free himself, and he strikes with his hands. When he does that, you will see him jolt blockers.

Bottom line: Thornton can get off blocks and work his way to the ball. He can anchor down at the point, and he will hold up double-team blocks. He did not appear to have problems finding the ball. When in position, he can finish.

If there is a trait that bothered me in watching him play, it had to be there were snaps where he played out of balance. He wasn't on the ground much, but I thought he could have done a better job of staying square and playing on his feet. I can see him being the starter as the one-technique and backing up Tyrone Crawford as the three when needed.


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