2. Juan Thornhill, S
Out of all the additions this offseason, Juan Thornhill was the one that I was the most excited about. He gave this defense exactly what they needed, which is a deep coverage safety. His presence will help everyone as it will allow Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome, and Martin Emerson to play press coverage more often than they did in 2022.
He's also been consistent when it comes to playing the position. Since being selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Virginia, Thornhill has finished between No. 29 and No. 20 in PFF's safety rankings in three of four years. The only exception was in 2020 when he was recovering from an ACL tear that kept him sidelined for the Chiefs' Super Bowl win following 2019.
With all that being said, the hype around Thornhill is reminiscent of what we heard in 2021 with John Johnson III. A former leader of the Los Angeles Rams defense, Johnson was supposed to change the defense, and Andrew Berry was praised as a genius when he convinced JJ3 to play for less in Cleveland.
As we saw in 2022, the "steal" wasn't what we expected it to be. Johnson not only became a liability in coverage but also pointed fingers at teammates when things went wrong in 2022. Johnson was released in the offseason and Thornhill takes his place. Again, this should be a positive move for the team but we still need to see how he fits in the Jim Schwartz defense when it counts.