The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Alabama safety Deionte Thompson had big shoes to fill in the 2018 season, but played well and is now a 2019 NFL Draft prospect.
Class: Redshirt Junior
2018 stats: 78 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, six passes defended, one fumble recovery, three fumbles forced
Size: 6-foot-1,195 pounds
Thompson was a starter for a little more than one full season at Alabama, but like many other players who play under Nick Saban, was able to be successful. Saban’s personal touch on the secondary helped mold Thompson and now he is a highly regarded safety in the 2019 NFL Draft class.
At Alabama, Thompson had 112 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, seven passes defended, one fumble recovery and three fumbles forced. After being a special teams player for his first two seasons, Thompson started two games at the end of the 2017 season and kept the role for 2018. He played well enough to lead Alabama to the National Championship Game and was named a First-Team All-American by several media outlets.
After stepping in a year after Alabama lost Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison as their top safeties, Thompson now can follow their footsteps to the NFL. He will now be selected in the first few rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Thompson has good speed for the safety position. With that, he has great range and uses that effectively against the run and the pass. Against the pass, he can stay with his man mostly and get to the side of the field if in zone coverage to break up a play. When the offense is running the ball, Thompson comes down from his position quickly to get in on the play.
Along with his great range, Thomspon showed solid ball skills. He was able to get into the area to make a play because of his great speed and once he was there he had the ability to knock the ball down or intercept it.
At Alabama, Thompson showed the ability to help against the run. He often played deep, but would come running up to support the run. At times he showed the ability to get through traffic and then lay a big hit on the ball carrier as he played downhill.
Thompson was out of position more than he should’ve been at Alabama. He let deep balls get past him when he was in a deep zone. In addition to that, Thompson didn’t have the necessary awareness to be in position for some plays. He was also manipulated by quarterbacks who looked him off and threw to the other side of the field.
His tackling was inconsistent at best at Alabama. When he plays downhill football and attacks the ball carrier, he does a good job. Other times though he is more passive and it affects his play. He missed a lot of open field tackles and was thrown off by juke moves.
Not too many players were playing better football in the first half of the college football season than Thompson. Unfortunately, he struggled down the stretch which has hurt his draft stock. Alabama’s schedule was backloaded (especially with the SEC Championship and the College Football Playoff), so it raises the question of how well he will play against good competition at the next level.
Projected Draft Range: First round-Second round