Virginia Tech Senior
PROS: Has the quickness to penetrate and gets some push up the middle. Can make stops in the backfield. Shows ability to work down line laterally and make plays in pursuit. Has a good motor and has closing burst on quarterback once he gets penetration. Has a decent swim move and has flahsed a developmental spin move.
CONS: Doesn't get off blocks very well. Struggles against double teams and too often is pushed off the ball. Not great at the point of attack. More of a short area player that doesn't have great range to make plays in pursuit. Needs to do a better job breaking down once he gets penetration, as he'll whiff on some stops because he lacks flexibility. Tends to rely on his burst and quickness, and needs to develop more and better moves.
OVERVIEW: A two-year starter that is a disruptive presence that is better pass rusher than run stopper. I've seen games where he played very well against quality competition, and then I've seen games where he was underwhelming against mediocre competition. Production fell off a bit as a senior after having 6.5 TFLs and 3 scaks as a junior, fell to 1.5 and 0.5 as a senior.
NFL FORECAST: He'll work best in a one-gap scheme and is most effective when he's playing in a three-technique. He has good size and moves well, but he won't be an impact pass rusher at the next level. He is disruptive at times, but doesn't have the polish or consistent explosiveness as a pass rusher to be more than a 1-3 sack guy on the next level. More than likely, he'll spend his career as a reserve in a rotation. He can get better vs. the run as his first step can allow him to get leverage and press the line of scrimmage, but he's a work in progress there. More than likely, he won't be an impact player, but can help a rotation for a 4-3 team that wants a disruptor.
ATL FORECAST: He could work in Atlanta, but more than likely will spend much of his Falcon career buried on the depth chart. He has the potential to move up down the road and fill in as a No. 3 tackle, but mostly he's a fourth option. He doesn't really possess the upside to be a starter in Atlanta. He could push for time right away in Atlanta, but won't be much of a contributor until probably three years down the road.
VALUE: Thompson is a nice late round pick that probably would be best picked in the sixth round.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.