SDSU DE Cameron Thomas has Michigan ties, grew up a Lions fan

MOBILE – Cameron Thomas' Senior Bowl week lasted just one play before a hamstring injury shut him down and turned his focus toward getting healthy and having a good showing at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis next month.

It was a disappointing development for Thomas, who is one of the more intriguing pass rushers in this year's NFL Draft. Thomas' family is from Detroit, so he was looking forward to playing for the American Team coached by the Lions at the Senior Bowl this week.

"I really like the energy and passion the Lions have brought so far," Thomas said this week. "I'm just really excited to get an opportunity to learn from them."

View photos from the third day of practice at the 2022 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

Thomas had been spending time with the outside linebackers and coach Kelvin Sheppard before the injury. Thomas measured in at 6-foot-4 and 264 pounds at the weigh-in, and has played both inside and on the edge at San Diego State. He recorded 10.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss for the Aztecs this past season.

Thomas' father, Mike, grew up in Royal Oak, and his mother, Wendy, grew up in West Bloomfield. His parents moved out to California before Cameron was born, but he said he still has a good feel for Michigan.

"I grew up a Lions fan," Thomas said. "I definitely have a lot of Lions gear. It's exciting to be with the Lions this week, I'll say that."

How can Thomas prove he's a Detroiter at heart? He said every time he's in Detroit he goes straight for the best Coney dog in town.

The Lions need to add a pass rusher or two this offseason. They'll have their pick of the consensus top two in underclassmen Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux, but with Charles Harris scheduled to become a free agent and Romeo Okwara coming off a serious Achilles injury, the Lions could certainly look to add multiple edge rushers to the roster this offseason.

Thomas wasn't able to see the field much this past week because of the hamstring injury, but he was still able to tune into what the Lions coaching staff is preaching and how he can become a better player under their tutelage.

View photos of the Senior Bowl Parade on Feb. 4, 2022 in Mobile, Ala.

"I'm just trying to learn as much as I can throughout the week," Thomas said. "Getting a better chance to know the coaching staff. I'm just really excited to be here."

And if the Lions end up drafting Thomas?

"I would be ecstatic," he said. "Me and my whole family would be ecstatic. We wouldn't have to buy too much gear because we have it all. Just being able to play in front of my family would be so amazing."

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