The Kansas City Chiefs added to their secondary on Friday night, selecting University of Virginia defensive back Juan Thornhill with the No. 63 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Here are five things to know about Thornhill.
1. He piled up the stats in college
Thornhill was a three-year starter for the Cavaliers, tallying 208 tackles, 39 passes defensed, 12.0 tackles-for-loss, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble from 2016-18.
He entered his senior season on the Nagurski and Bednarik watch lists – which each identify the top defensive players in college football - and finished his career at Virginia as an AP All-ACC selection in 2018.
When opponents looked his way, they rarely found success.
2. Thornhill is the definition of a ballhawk
Simply put, Thornhill makes plays. He picked off 13 passes in college and notched nearly half of them last year alone with six.
He’s showed off those ball skills from a variety of spots, too.
Here’s what NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein had to say about Thornhill:
Three-year starter who proved he could bring his instincts and ball skills with him from cornerback to safety in 2018. Thornhill's size and cover talent should allow defensive coordinators the freedom to deploy him around the field in a variety of ways depending on the matchups and his running mate at safety. While he could garner consideration as a corner, safety gives him his best opportunity to become an early starter.
3. He put on a show at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine
The Combine is often called one of the toughest job interviews in the country, and Thornhill nailed it. He led all players in the vertical (44.0 inches) and broad jump (141.0 inches) while ranking second in bench press reps (22) among defensive backs.
Here’s a look at his vertical jump, which fell just shy of the Combine record.
4. He made SportsCenter as a high schooler for this ridiculous dunk
Thornhill demonstrated those vertical talents on the basketball court back in high school. This is impressive, to say the least.
Here’s to hoping Thornhill makes it back on SportsCenter in a Chiefs’ uniform.
5. Speaking of high school, Thornhill was a quarterback once upon a time
Thornhill played both safety and quarterback while at Altavista High School in Altavista, Va., leading his squad to back-to-back state championships – running for a pair of scores and throwing for another in the 2014 title game.
He ultimately made the permanent switch to defensive back upon joining the Cavaliers, and four years later, he’s headed to Kansas City's defensive backfield.