After an excellent college career at Boise State, safety Darian Thompson is picking up more and more interest as draft day approaches, with the two teams showing the most zeal to pick him are the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts.
The Falcons sent out a number of their guys to Boise to see Thompson on his pro day, while the Colts have also been trying to pick up as much information as possible about him after four years in the state of Idaho, where he began as a multitask defensive back and took over the safety position in the next three seasons.
He finished with 19 interceptions during his time with the Broncos, including two All-American mentions in 2014 and 2015, having five interceptions in only 11 games last season. But Thompson is also much more than a ballhawk. He’s fantastic in the box and near the line of scrimmage. He’s big and hits hard too, which makes for an exciting combination along with his willingness to go for difficult passes as he undercuts passes.
The problem with Thompson and why not more teams are after him or elevating him to be an early pick are his coverage skills. At the moment, his instincts and defensive awareness aren’t where most NFL teams like it to be from their starting safeties. He’s been left for dead a number of times by receivers as he misread the entire play, which does cause some concern. It means he needs work done with him in order to have a better understanding of how passing plays develop.
Thompson doesn’t have to worry about falling too far (don’t see him taken after the 5th), but in order to become a safety in the NFL for a long time, he’s going to add more to his game than just big tackling and interceptions. Doing the fundamentals right will be the key to his survival in the league.