Boise State Senior
40: 4.50 (estimated)
Comfortable working in zone and off coverage. Does a good job keeping things in front of him. Has nice backpedal and good footwork. Shows good ball skills, able to jump the out and break up the comeback. Tracks the deep ball fairly well. Comes up and willing to defend the run on the edge. Does a nice job wrapping up in space.
Not a lock down man corner. Gives up a bit too much cushion and miss stops after the catch because of it and the fact that he doesn't take the best angles. Struggles at times to defend the deep ball. Struggles in press coverage because he cannot reliably get the jam. Will get caught gambling at times, trying to jump routes. Can get beat fairly easily on the double move. An undersized tackler.
Thompson is a competitor that was solid when he played opposite Kyle Wilson, but didn't quite measure up this past year when he took over as Boise State's top cover man. As a junior, he had 45 tackles, 6 picks, and 3 pass breakups. As a senior, he had 31 tackles, 3 picks, and 7 breakups. He was a three year starter that was productive in coverage, but failed to live up to potential as a No. 1 corner. He was tasked with shadowing Nevada WR Rishard Matthews, and gave up 10 receptions and 172 yards and a touchdown. Matthews is a nice receiver prospect, but more of a mid-round talent than a potential NFL superstar.
Thompson has the ball skills and competitive streak to compete for a nickel job at the next level. He doesn't project too well in a scheme that will ask him to play a ton of man coverage. He just doesn't have the size to match up there. If he can polish up his technique and footwork, you think he might be able to get better there where he is a competent starter. He's a guy that I suspect will stick in the pros because teams will like his ball skills and toughness, but I'm not sure he's a guy that I'd want going up against top quality receivers. He'll probably fits best in a scheme that wants him to play more zone, an area that down the road he can excel. It would not surprise me if three or four years down the road he becomes a competent starter, in a similar fashion to Brent Grimes. But I don't think he'll be quite the playmaker that Grimes has become, nor does he appear to have quite the athleticism. But he can become a poor man's version of Grimes and have a long productive career as a reserve.
Thompson is a similar player to Grimes and those similarities could make him a nice backup in Atlanta. But like Grimes, he'll likely be physically overmatched early in his career, and unless he makes those improvements to really polish up his discipline and technique like Grimes has, he'll be hard-pressed to make those strides in his third and fourth years that Grimes was able to make. He could add depth to the Falcons secondary and lock up a nickel role two or three years down the road. But at least his first few years in Atlanta, he's not going to bring a lot more to the table that guys like Franks and Owens already don't and doesn't seem like a strong bet to beat either of them for jobs.
For a team that is going to let him play more off zone and wants a guy that can compete for a nickel role inside two or three years, he would make a nice fourth round pick. For most other teams, particularly ones that are going to leave him on an island, he's probably closer to a seventh round pick in the hopes he improves and develops down the road.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Man Coverage: 2.5
Zone Coverage: 3.5
Ball Skills: 3.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.