FS/SS Evals: Single High Safeties

Of all the secondary players we should be looking at, Deionte Thompson is an interesting cat but perhaps not really a guy to take seriously for the Browns this year.

Most of the fall during CFB regular season, he was considered the top Safety in the upcoming class and by a wide margin. Since bowl season began, he started sliding and has almost left the conversation entirely, at least in the public draftnik realm. It’s odd, but he’s a guy that people started picking apart and found more flaws in his game than they expected for an Alabama starting Safety. He doesn’t possess the elite technical skills you’d want to go with his elite athleticism. Physically he’s got a nice frame for college but needs a lot of pro weight room work to effectively use his size in the NFL. His film doesn’t lie either, there are holes in his game and he’s likely limited as a Single High role in the NFL.

Saban red-shirted him as a freshman in 2015. Thompson played very little as a sophomore, mostly special teams, only starting twice. He finally became a full-time starter as a junior, lit the world on fire a bit and then declared for the Draft. Kid simply does not have a lot of experience and great tape that backs him up as an immediate starter in the NFL, so his 1st Round projection has started to crumble. Not only does he not look like an immediate contributor, he will not be an asset in the run game due to his size and build, or in zone, as he needs to keep things in front of him as a single high free and hasn’t been challenged in man coverage. He’s got great range, showed some ball skills also but takes poor angles at times.

He also didn’t do his draft stock any favors by missing the chance to do a full workout at the Combine (freak wrist injury that resulted in surgery) and then was totally MIA for the Alabama Pro Day in March. I cannot find a single recap online about the Pro Day that explains why he didn’t work out or even if he showed up! So we don’t have any athletic scores for him or a timed speed. Not a great look for him if he’s expecting to be taken early…

Considered to have a very skinny frame, these physical and technical limitations make him look like a high to mid 2nd round pick after being considered a lock as the first Safety drafted back in November. Truly could be a steal late in the 2nd Round, especially for a team who can live with a one-dimensional role player and can be patient while he develops an NFL frame. That’s not us folks!