Raiders Draft: Name to Know – FS Darian Thompson

In this “Name to Know” series, I’ll touch on some of my personal favorite players in this year’s class. With the help of some well-placed GIF’s, we’ll be able to carefully illustrate some of their strengths and/or weaknesses, why the fit does or doesn’t make sense, and most importantly, where their value lies on draft day. While these write-ups won’t be “full scouting reports”, per se, the clips provided should certainly help paint the picture.

With that said, let’s get on with it. First up is Darian Thompson.

Thompson, Boise State’s free safety, is on a bit of a roller coaster ride. Prior to the Combine, he was a lock of the first round, perhaps as high as the teens. A lackluster performance in Indianapolis instantly changed some opinions, however. There was talk of food poisoning, the flu, who knows. PFF questioned his effort, and all of a sudden, Thompson was free-falling all the way through Day 2, or worse.

His Pro Day has eased the minds of many, notably erasing the 4.69 Combine 40-time and posting new (much more indicative, I think) times of 4.53 and 4.55. I’m here to tell you (well, show you) that despite the initial up-and-down, the tape always stood out for me. Thompson’s a complete safety, and while I’m not so sure I’m taking him at 14 overall, calling his name would be a heck of a way to start Day 2.

dt6 (thumbs up)










The first game up is his 2015 match-up against Washington. This was the second cut into the breakdown, where Darian gets busy.

We all know the stat line that Thompson accumulated during his time at Boise State: 19 interceptions during his time in blue and orange. Ballhawk.

dt1 (1st play, INT)

Moving on, we see this a lot from Thompson: his run support is excellent. He’s decisive and closes quickly, with a nice little burst through the hole.

At times, this can also be Thompson’s undoing, one of the very few spots in his game. This speed toward the play is exciting to watch, sure, but there are instances where he’s come up with nothing (missed 11 tackles in 2015). He’s a missile, but could work to play a little more controlled.

dt2 (2nd play, closing)

More of the same below. Another quick read and reaction here, resulting in a tackle for loss.

We see him work around the (poor) block attempt and clean things up. He takes the proper angle on the play to begin with, which was a reoccurring theme while running back the film.

dt3 (run support)

He’s not as as rangy as, say, Karl Joseph, but he’s no slouch either. As noted earlier, Thompson is an instinctual player and as such, he’s able to cover a good chunk of carpet in an efficient manner.

dt7 (open field again)

Playing the run is a non-issue for Thompson.

dt8 (more open field)

Break on the ball (and upending dudes at the same time) looks good, too.

dt4 (open field)

If he’s not getting his hands on the ball himself (5 interceptions in 2015), he’s creating for those around him.

dt5 (pop)

dt9 (crown on ball)

Darian Thompson looks the part at 6’2″, 208. He “plays fast” on film, so that 4.55 time makes you feel a little more warm and fuzzy about his prospects.

He’s clearly a playmaker, who finds himself around the ball consistently. Thompson’s not a perfect prospect, but he’s strong against the run and more than serviceable in coverage. If he can work to improve the latter, look for him to have an immediate impact wherever he lands.

For the Raiders, Thompson is in play as early as 44 overall.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive