Chicago Bears: Kevin Thurmon Jr. offers tremendous upside in NFL Draft

Chicago Bears, NFL Draft (Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears, NFL Draft (Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, 2019 NFL Draft
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Q&A with Kevin Thurmon – Part I

DaWindyCity (DWC): Hey Kevin — thanks so much for taking some time to sit down with us. We really appreciate it.

Kevin Thurmon Jr. (KT): No problem — no problem at all.

DWC: So I hear you grew up in Chicago?

KT: Yeah, I grew up on the South Side.

DWC: And you grew up a Bears fan right?

KT: Yeah of course. Even though they’ve had some lows recently I’m still a Bears fan and always will be.

DWC: Tell me a little bit about what you’re doing to get ready for the NFL Draft?

KT: Right now I’m in Houston, training for Pro Day. Working out every day from 8:00 am -3:30 pm. I’m working mostly on technique for things that I will do on Pro Day, like 40-yard dash technique, 5-10-5, and other things we have to do on Pro Day.

DWC: And do you have a date for your Pro Day?

KT: Yeah, March 20th.

DWC: When you have your Pro Day, what do you think will jump out at the scouts when they see you in person?

KT: I would say my quickness and they’ll be surprised at how powerful I really am.

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DWC: So you played a 4-3 defense in college, and obviously the Bears play a 3-4. Where do you think you fit in a 3-4 scheme?

KT: I think it really depends on the situation. You can throw me on the inside and outside, it really doesn’t matter to me. In the middle of this last season — I think it was around our fifth game — we switched our whole defense from a 4-3, to a 3-4. They had me at end, but the main reason I was at end was that I broke my hand in the fourth game and missed two games (the fifth and sixth game) and came back with a cast on. And they started me at end so that my inside hand (non-injured hand) would be free.

DWC: So you all switched defensive schemes mid-season?

KT: Yeah, we got a new defensive coordinator and staff this year. And when I got hurt, they felt like we didn’t have a lot of defensive tackles so they wanted to switch it because it would help us in the run more. Once we switched to the 3-4 they decided we were going to stay with it for the rest of the year.

DWC: Wow — so how difficult was it to make that transition on the fly, mid-season?

KT: It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, to be honest with you. It was something I was able to learn quickly. Most offensive tackles aren’t going to expect 300 pounds on the end. And then the things our ends had to get used to was being double-teamed by a guard and tackle, but that was something I was already used to. But it was still something I had to adapt to mid-season, so I was working on developing moves in practice that would work more on the end than it would in a 3-tech.

DWC: I saw you’re listed at 6-foot-3, and about 300 pounds. Is that where you expect to be at the next level, or are you looking to bulk up or slim down?

KT: No that’s where I expect to be. I expect to be around that weight.

DWC: Talk to me a little bit about what you think are your biggest strengths.

KT: I think my biggest strength is my get-off. It helps me with my pass rush — I love to pass rush. And I feel like one of the best aspects of my game is disrupting the quarterback. So my get-off and my pass rush are my biggest strengths.

DWC: Is there anything else about your game you think separates you from other players in the draft?

KT: I would say my motor. That’s a big thing for me — my motor. A lot of people say my game is based around the style of Aaron Donald. I’m trying to lever the ball and get to the ball. I’m trying to get to the ball no matter where it is. So I would say my motor and my get-off — especially being inside, many guards can’t handle that.