Is Cameron Thomas the Arizona Cardinals next breakout candidate?

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals
Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals / Michael Owens/GettyImages

In March, the Arizona Cardinals let Zach Allen walk, but that could mean they are more than confident in players like Cameron Thomas.

Along with Myjai Sanders, Cameron Thomas joined the Arizona Cardinals as a third round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Now that Zach Allen and J.J. Watt have either gone elsewhere or retired, it means the Cards believe Thomas is ready to step up and become a force along the defensive line or outside linebacker, depending on the type of scheme they run. 

Thomas only saw 236 snaps last season, but he still registered three sacks, 18 tackles, six quarterback hits, and three stops behind the line. In short, despite his limited sample size, Thomas showed fans all the signs that he can be a playmaker, and it’s one of a few reasons that they should be fine with Allen going elsewhere

Arizona Cardinals could have a top-notch player in Thomas

So far this offseason, we have given B.J. Ojulari a lot of attention, as the second-round pick should be a surefire starter at edge or defensive end. But thanks to Thomas’ performance in 2022, he could wind up as a player opponents will eventually need to account for every time he is on the field. 

And best yet, with guys like Myjai Sanders and as it stands, Zaven Collins also joining this rotation at edge/outside linebacker, it could keep Thomas fresh if the young rotation stays healthy. This ‘less is more’ scenario will catapult not only Thomas, but also Sanders, into providing a pass rush presence that for the most part, was nonexistent in the desert last season. 

Overall, don’t be surprised if Thomas takes a big step forward in 2023. And when he does, he could be part of not just a dangerous duo with the likes of B.J. Ojulari, but a sound rotation that could very well perform better than advertised. 

Source: Cam Thomas taking ‘best of both worlds’ from Cardinals past and present by Tyler Drake,

(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)