The Chargers now have signed or agreed to contracts with five of their six draft picks three weeks before training camp begins in full. First-round choice
Butler, a 6-foot-1, 248-pound inside linebacker, earned second-team All-Pac-10 as a senior at Washington. He made 91 tackles, one sack, forced three fumbles and intercepted two passes.
Butler led all linebackers at the NFL Combine, where he bench pressed 225 pounds 35 times. He recently studied extra film with linebackers coach John Pagano after Washington’s late graduation forced him to miss the first two weeks of OTAs and Mini Camp.
“I think it went well,” Butler said of his first practice with the vets June 14. “The biggest thing is, you’ve got to open your eyes and ears more at this level, because if you don’t hear something, you’re going to be a step behind and then you’re out of the play.”
Thomas, the 6-foot-4, 335-pound defensive tackle out of North Carolina, was considered good value by many draft analysts for his potential as a fifth-round selection.
He made 23 tackles last season, blocked a kick and was credited with three quarterback pressures. Thomas earned a Senior Bowl invitation following the season and sacked Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson during the All-Star game.
“I’m just here to do a job and help win games. That’s basically it,” Thomas said. “And my job is to clog up gaps and help make plays when it’s my time.”