2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Juan Thornhill
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 205 pounds
Round Projection: Three
A former corner, you can see burst in Thornhill’s game. As a result, that trait affects the way he plays. While patrolling the deep middle, Thornhilll does not have a problem with receivers streaking by. With a smooth stride, Thornhill stays hip-to-hip with both slot and outside receivers. When breaking on the ball, his explosion keeps him competitive. Moreover, speed allows him to serve as an effective blitzer and sniff out perimeter running plays.
As mentioned, Thornhill’s experience as a corner, gives him the versatility to compete at the next level. Whether covering the slot or staying on the outside, he does not show any fear or nerves. What makes Thornhill an intriguing coverage prospect is his timing. After reading the route, Thornhill immediately decides his next move. Next, the prospect will use hips and the sideline a guide to nudge the receiver slightly out of bounds.
Currently, Thornhill boasts 24 deflected passes and eleven interceptions. He uses late hands to make plays. That is to say, the prospect uses technique to avoid penalties. Yet, he will still make a play. With the ball in air, Thornhill believes the pass is his. Due to the ability to highpoint and capture, he really will not allow the ball to reach the target safely.
Despite his reputation for coverage, Thornhill can play in the box on occasion. In that case, he initiates contact. Regardless of weighing 205 pounds, Thornhill will surf through trash and drop the ball carrier. Depending on situation, he will vary between a pop tackle and the ability to breakdown in space and securing the stop. As the case with most, fine-tuning of technique will never hurt.
In reality, the Raiders employ one of the worst safety contingents in the NFL. Despite Derrick Ansley’s superb coaching, this group always looks a step slow and woefully unathletic. Reggie Nelson should never play and Erik Harris is a special teamer. Meanwhile, Karl Joseph cannot see the field. If the Raiders drafted Thornhill, they would have a Day 2 selection that could start immediately or slide in during subpackages. First, Thornhill’s ability to operate the slot or outside, would earn him snaps. In addition, not many Raider safeties possess the ability to actually make a sound play on the ball. In a division with the Chiefs’ young nucleus, upgrading safety help remains a priority. Thornhill could fit the plans for the Raiders.