During the pre-NFL Draft process San Diego State defensive lineman Cameron Thomas earned the reputation as "the best player you don't know." He's getting a chance to make sure everyone knows his name.
Thomas was taken in the 3rd round, 87th overall, by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2022 NFL Draft. The reigning Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year joins a guy who he was compared to by a few talent evaluators, future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt, on the Cards defense. Watt is one of the greatest defensive players of all time so the chance to learn from him will be invaluable for Thomas.
At 6'4" and 270 pounds Thomas is the rare modern defensive lineman who can play on both the end of the line and move inside to handle the tackle position (and he'll likely get even bigger and stronger in an NFL training program). The Carlsbad HS alum was one of the most productive pass rushers in the nation in 2021, filling up the stat sheet with 71 tackles and 11.5 sacks.
The Cardinals let Pro Bowler Chandler Jones go (he signed with the Raiders) so there was a definite need on the AZ front that Thomas will likely get plenty of opportunities to fill.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
Thomas was the first Aztec off the board but certainly will not be the last. His brother Zach, an offensive lineman, fellow o-lineman William Dunkle, punter Matt Araiza, and tight end Daniel Bellinger are also expected to hear their names called at some point this weekend.