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Is Deionte Thompson The Center Fielder The Redskins Need?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Deionte Thompson, S
School: Alabama | Conference: SEC
College Experience: RS Junior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 195 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 1st or 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Tyrann Mathieu

College Statistics

Player Overview

Nick Saban called Deionte Thompson when he was a sophomore in high school and offered him a scholarship. Thompson accepted and never wavered throughout the process though schools like LSU and Texas were coming after him. If you didn’t know Nick Saban works with the Alabama defensive backs directly so when Saban called and offered him a future at the position Thompson knew that it potentially end up being a special one. Thompson is a special safety. During the season he drew media praise from Hall Of Famer’s Torrey Holt and Shannon Sharpe. Sharpe went so far as to say that Thompson is the best safety he’s seen since the late great Sean Taylor and that parts of Thompson’s game remind him of Ed Reed. Forgive me while I lend more credit to two All-Pros and Hall Of Fame players before #DraftTwitter. Thompson started off his season strong then entered a lull. But if we examine the lull closely you might see that it was a drop off in turnover production and not so much a drop off in talent as a deep coverage defender. If you thought Thompson was going to last to the 3rd round you are mistaken he is the best centerfield safety in the draft and will start for a team on day one.

Strengths

  • Excellent range, good fluidity, good athleticism, and decent physicality for the position.
  • Thompson is a natural at the position and understands coverages, angles, space, and depth. He can pick up on clues from the receivers routes and read the QBs eyes to make breaks on the ball. Instincts are great and he knows how to be in the right place at the right time to break up plays or to prevent them entirely. Has a knack for covering a lot of field to get in between the ball and receiver.
  • Ball skills are there and he made some impressive interceptions this year. Whats more he has more physicality than some give him credit for. He can fly to the ball in run support and target it when he’s making a tackle. He recorded 3 forced fumbles this season.
  • His ability puts a cap on deep threats with his athleticism in space can make a QB think twice before launching it.

Weaknesses

  • Undersized and slightly built for the position. There are concerns about how long he can hold up if he continues making some of the hits that have showed up on his highlight reel.
  • Is faster going laterally and forward as opposed to backward. What that means is that if the ball is at his level or in front he can make a play but he’s not going to chase many guys down from behind long straight speed is a question.
  • Wrist injury he suffered this year required surgery and he has been unable to test to confirm whats on tape.
  • Can be too aggressive at times leading to missed opportunities which doesn’t help his consistency.

Let’s see his work:

More Deionte Thompson videos

How He Would Fit On The Redskins?

My position isn’t that Thompson is a future Hall Of Fame player but that he is ready to start in the NFL and is the best FS prospect in the draft. He gained weight for the combine and if he can push it to 200 lbs even I think a lot of the concerns about his size will be alleviated. There is no denying his skills on the back end and how he can impact the passing game. Thompson wants to make the big plays all the time and will have to learn a bit more discipline at the NFL level while still honing his ability to take chances and succeed at them. He’ll need a good defensive backs coach to help him do that. I hope the Redskins would be prepared to help develop a player of his talent so that he could potential reach this proclaimed level of play that two former players mentioned. The Redskins need a lot of help at the FS position and Thompson could fill that void right away. Who knows its possible the Redskins could have the best safety tandem in the league for the next 4 years if they made the move.