NAME: Juan Thornhill
JERSEY: No. 21
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 195 lbs
A two-year starter for the Cavs, Thornhill has experience at both safety and corner but will spend his final season in Charlottesville at safety where he best projects to the next level. In terms of recovery speed, foot quickness and fluidity Thornhill has some limitations when evaluating him strictly at cornerback in the NFL.
Thornhill excels in coverage from a variety of techniques. He has a natural feel in zone for coverage spacing and working into throwing windows while also effective in man coverage where his length and physicality will serve him well working against tight ends and bigger slots. There are some matchups in the slot, mainly against quicker receivers, that could be problematic for Thornhill in man coverage but he has the physical traits to lineup with flexed tight ends and big-bodied possession receivers.
With seven interceptions and 19 pass breakups over his last 24 games, Thornhill is disruptive at the catch point and features strong ball skills. He does well to elevate and compete at the catch point, particularly when he can play forward on the ball as opposed to with his back to the line of scrimmage.
Thornhill is a strong tackler and plays the game with a physical demeanor as he works through contact. He has the contact power expected for his size. He can win near the line of scrimmage and offers the traits needed to function as a box safety.
Stepping into the Quin Blanding role as a senior, Thornhill is an ascending prospect with the upside to be one of the top defensive playmakers in the ACC as he solidifies his draft stock. Showcasing a more versatile skill set with a touch more athletic ability would serve him well.