Former Stanford LB Chase Thomas drawing interest from 3-4, 4-3 teams

By Matt Rybaltowski | CBSSports.com
Former Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas has met with several NFL teams at the Senior Bowl. (US Presswire)

Although former Stanford defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has moved on to the NFL, he remains in close contact with many of his former Cardinal players.

Fangio, the second-year 49ers' defensive coordinator, has helped prepare a number of the Stanford defenders for the NFL by sending them film on the 49ers' suffocating defense. For former Stanford LB Chase Thomas, the cut-ups on Aldon Smith have provided him with a way to hone his pass-rushing skills.

“He does a little stutter, he'll go straight into a bull rush and then he'll go inside,” Thomas said. “It's kind of a three-way move he has going on.”

In 2012, Thomas was one of just two defensive players in the Pac-12 to earn first team all-conference honors for the second consecutive season. Thomas (6-foot-3, 241 pounds) tied Ben Gardner for a team-high 14.5 tackles for loss and also tied Gardner for second in sacks with 7.5.

At this week's Senior Bowl, Thomas has drawn interest from 3-4 teams as an outside linebacker and 4-3 teams as a defensive end. The Texans and Chiefs are among the 3-4 teams Thomas has met with this week. He's also had brief meetings with 4-3 teams, including the Cowboys, Dolphins, Jaguars, Falcons and Bucs. The Cowboys are planning to switch to a 4-3 after the hiring of Monte Kiffin.

“A lot of them talk about how I can play strongside linebacker and play over the tight end, which is pretty much the same thing I did at Stanford,” Thomas said.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz, who is coaching the South team, has been impressed with Thomas' play.

“He's very smart,” Schwartz said. “He's shown good football sense on the field.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed, watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can also follow Matt Rybaltowski @mattrybaltowski.

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