2019 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect: Deionte Thompson
Ht: 6'2" Wt: 196
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Evaluated by: James Siebers
Few programs churn out high-level prospects more consistently than Alabama, particularly when it comes to the defensive backs that are coached directly by Nick Saban. Deionte Thompson is the next man up in a long line of talented safeties that have made the jump to the NFL. Thompson has a unique blend of size and athleticism that is rare for the position. His best fit will be as a ball-hawking Free Safety in a scheme that allows him to make plays at all levels of the field.
Thompson’s greatest strength is his tremendous range in zone coverage. He was routinely assigned responsibilities as a single-high Safety and showed the ability to break on plays from sideline to sideline. Thompson shows above-average instincts in route recognition, with an elite ability to break, track, and close on the ball while it is in the air. His ball skills have drawn comparisons to legends like Sean Taylor and Ed Reed.
Though relatively inexperienced in man coverage, Thompson displays the athletic traits to match up well in this area. His size and length make him an ideal candidate to match up with bigger WRs and move TEs. Thompson also appears to possess the short-area quickness to mirror receivers throughout their routes. In the modern era of the NFL, Thompson’s ability to play both zone and man should make him an incredibly attractive prospect.
Thompson flashes the ability to be a downhill tackler, though he’s inconsistent in this area. He frequently attacks ball carriers low, using his length to trip up runners rather than taking them on through the torso. At times, poor angles and an inability to work through the trash can result in big plays. Thompson has shown the ability to deliver a blow when given the chance and was credited with three forced fumbles last season.
Despite his relative inexperience, Thompson burst onto the scene in 2018 with two INTs and three PDs in his first three games. Though his counting stats in coverage tapered off the remainder of the year, Thompson has established himself as an elite coverage option in both man and zone-heavy schemes. His ability to play the ball in the air and produce pass breakups and turnovers will make him an attractive option for any team looking for help in the secondary. Thompson will almost certainly hear his name called in RD1, with the potential to land in the Top 10 if his pre-Draft process plays out well.
NFL player Comparison
Jessie Bates III, Bengals (2018 RD2 Pick #54)
- Has size, length, and speed to play the position
- Range to cover from sideline to sideline
- Athletic profile to succeed in man coverage
- Instincts to break on the ball
- Exceptional ball skills
- Lacks consistency as a tackler
- Poor angles and failure to wrap up can lead to big plays
- Can be manipulated by QBs eyes
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