Former NFL defensive end/outside linebacker John Thierry is dead at the age of 46.
Thierry’s alma mater, Alcorn State, made the announcement on Saturday afternoon.
It is with deep and profound sadness we report the passing of Alcornite and 1994 NFL 1st Round Draftee, John Thierry ‘94. The Alcorn family extends its sincere condolences to his family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. #ForeverBrave pic.twitter.com/vH6qNrOtT5
— Alcorn State (@AlcornStateU) November 25, 2017
The Chicago Bears selected Thierry 11th-overall in the 1994 NFL Draft. His teammate, former offensive tackle Marcus Spears who was selected in the second round of that draft, said that Thierry died on Friday of a heart attack, via the Chicago Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley.
During the draft process, Thierry was considered an extremely rare athletic talent. At 6-feet-4, 250 pounds, he ran a 4.52 in the 40-yard-dash and had a vertical jump of greater than 35 inches. At the time, he was being compared to future Pro Football Hall of Fame outside linebacker Lawrence Taylor, via Jason Cole then of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
In five seasons with the Bears, he started in 28 games and recorded 12.5 sacks. He played for the Cleveland Browns during their return to the NFL in 1999 and recorded a career-high 7 sacks.
Thierry played for the Green Bay Packers from 2000-01, starting in every single game that he was available to play. In 2000 he started in all 16 games and recorded 6.5 sacks.
He played the final season of his NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2002, recording 4 sacks in 14 games.