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25 Days of Draftmas: Juan Thornhill would fit as a free safety in Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme

It’s KC Draft Guide release day. Here is an example of what you can find in its pages.

A very Merry Draftmas to you! It’s 25 Days of Draftmas on Arrowhead Pride, where we’ll be giving you a Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect every day in April leading up to the NFL Draft. You’ll get a daily prospect profile like this one right up until Draft Day.

A very Merry Draftmas and a happy KC Draft Guide release day to all of you! We’re so excited for our product launch today. It’s been months and months of hard work and we are very pleased to present you with the finished product. To celebrate, we’re giving you one of the 225-plus write-ups right here.

Here is what you can expect in the KC Draft Guide. Meet an athletic safety from the ACC:

Juan Thornhill, safety

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

6’0” | 205lbs | Virginia

Altavista, VA | 10/19/1995

Grade: second

Expected Draft Range: round two

Combine: 4.42 second 40-yard dash, 21 bench press reps, 44” vertical jump, 141” broad jump

2018 Stats: 98 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 6 INT, 7 PBU

Background: Three-star recruit in high school playing quarterback and safety, as well as being a highly recruited basketball player. Played sparingly as a freshman and started all but two games over his next two years at cornerback before moving to safety and starting every game as a senior. Named All-ACC first team as a senior.

Strengths: Thornhill has solid size and good length while looking extremely smooth moving around the field. His FBI is very high and he processes the game quickly whether near the line of scrimmage or playing deep. His angles to the ball are aggressive but well thought out and he has a good first step when beginning his break. His ball skills are top notch. He reads the quarterback and wide receiver to jump routes and clean up overthrows. When in man coverage, he carries from the hip pocket and uses his length to disrupt the ball. Thornhill isn’t afraid to come up and make a tackle and is an above-average blitzer.

Weaknesses: Thornhill doesn’t possess the thickest frame and his explosion doesn’t show up consistently on the field. Change of direction, especially in man coverage, is labored and quality speed can get him in man coverage. When playing as a deep safety, he doesn’t always stay deeper than the deepest and his range is good, not great. Thornhill is a diving tackler and has no interest in taking on blocks. He will run himself out of a play trying to avoid a block and make the tackle from the side or behind.

How he fits with the Chiefs: Thornhill is an incredibly smart, versatile safety prospect that has experience playing outside cornerback, in the box and as a deep safety. The blueprint and optimism for him to make the jump at any of those positions are there. He’s at his best reading the quarterback and wide receiver in front of him and using his FBI to make aggressive breaks on the ball. For the Chiefs, he could slate quite well in as a free safety in Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme. Playing a fourth of the deep field and matching route concepts underneath are some skills that Thornhill should thrive in with his ball skills and intelligence.

Player comp: Byron Jones

Want to read more player profiles from Arrowhead Pride’s 25 Days of Draftmas? Click here for the complete list. And to stay informed on the players in which the Chiefs have shown interest, be sure to check out AP’s Chiefs draft prospect visit and workout tracker.

KC Draft Guide

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We have over 225 prospect write-ups like this one, with specifics about how prospects fit the Chiefs. There are more than 300 grades on players, mock drafts, positional rankings and features — all specific to the Chiefs. Grab your copy by clicking here!

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