- AProjectionRound 2
- YearRS Junior
- Hand9 ⅞
- Arm32 ⅛
Strong Points: Coveted size and length. Very good athlete with speed and range. Instinctive. Keeps plays in front of him. Solid in zone and does a good if not great job when asked to play man. Stays low in his pedal and has a smooth turn. Closes on the play very quickly. Strong ball reactions and hands. Very large receiving radius for a defensive back. Great support player and a good tackler. Sheds blocks well. Has special-teams experience.
Weak Points: More of a hitter than a wrap-up tackler who will miss some opportunities. Not a burner -- plays to about 4.50 speed. Only one year as a full-time starter.
The Way We See It: Thompson is a fourth-year junior who, like many at Alabama, had to wait his turn to become a starter. He played in a rotation for most of the 2017 season before starting the final few regular-season games. Became a full-time starter and the leader of the secondary last season. Possesses ideal height and length for a safety but still must add a little bulk. Athletic player with speed and superb body control. Plays well in zone and man, with very good range. Thompson is extremely aware and instinctive, seldom getting fooled or letting plays get behind him. Difference-making ball skills and hands. Should come in and start right away at either safety spot, but his range and ball skills make Thompson best suited for free safety.
Hub Arkush: And these Alabama "Pro Bowl" safeties just keep on coming. Whether it's Roman Harper, Mark Barron, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Landon Collins, Minkah Fitzpatrick or Eddie Jackson no school produces as much talent at one position as 'Bama has at safety over the last decade or so. Thompson physically is a clone of Clinton-Dix and Jackson, better suited as a free safety but also stronger against the run than his two felloe alums. Thompson's a great athlete with excellent ball skills and instincts that can definitely "captain" a secondary. He's probably not quite as good as Jackson in man coverage or as dangerous with the ball as Clinton-Dix, and he could stand to add another five or 10 pounds in the weight room, but his excellent bloodlines and the great tutelage he got in Tuscaloosa will make him one of the first two safeties off the board, most likely later in the first round.
Best Fit: Bucs, Seahawks, Colts, Cowboys
Red Flags: 1-year starter, gambles on big plays, strictly free safety
NFL Comp: Eddie Jackson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix