NAME: Deionte Thompson
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 14
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 194 lbs
Coverage Spacing –Can cover and slash to cross over teammate’s zones effectively. His aggression in many instances is a blessing and a curse. Can get caught too shallow and get popped over his head by passers with good field vision.
Acceleration –Burst and first step quickness is negated by some sloppy footwork as he’s hopping down into a shallow area. Has the needed burst in the open field to close ground quickly but isn’t the elite athlete who can get away with poor footwork in transition.
Tackling –Can deliver some surprising pop, especially when ball carriers are pinned to the sideline or with back to him. Like his aggressiveness but he can take some initial poor angles from single high in run support. Not a head up tackler…needs momentum to confidently challenge.
Zone Coverage Skills –His aggression in man free can produce some splash plays. Has ability to hunt the ball and bait passers with his spacing. Would like to see a little more selective approach to free ranging and eagerness to drive on routes breaking to the MOF.
Ball Skills –Does well when he’s arriving in unison with the football to play the hands of receivers and ensure targets aren’t uncontested. His angles to break on throws are effective, even when his lack of quickness sells him out. Not a lot of ball production in time as a starter.
Competitive Toughness –His effort level is pretty even. There are a few instances of pile inspecting but he’s generally a willing hitter and does look to drive on the run to ensure he’s getting active in the play. Like his intent along the sideline to deliver heavy blows.
Flexibility –He’s a very free mover in space. Effortless ability to extend his feet and catch his momentum. Has little issue with hinging to open his hips up the field and get depth while still keying in the backfield as needed to mirror the ball.
Feet/Change of Direction –Footwork is a bit of a mess in instances which he’s dropping down to the LOS. Guilty of hips and a super wide spread in his feet, removing suddenness. Like his angular back-pedals and bail techniques much better to play with control and stay balanced.
Man Coverage Skills –Was not featured in a press or off man role with any consistency. At this juncture, he’d be better served continuing to play as an overhang defender and single high pass defender to help enhance abilities there and add polish.
Versatility –Willing effort as a tackler and in run support, has been buzzed down to the LOS in run help on occasion and can be successful there in the pros. Wouldn’t prescribe any man coverage reps or anything where he doesn’t have help behind him.
BEST TRAIT – Ball Skills
WORST TRAIT – Discipline
BEST FILM – LSU (2018)
WORST FILM – Clemson (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Deionte Thompson is a bit of a roller coaster ride as a single high FS. Thompson has adequate range and long speed, but he’s always looking to jump action in front of his face. That yields big plays…for both the defense and the opposition. Thompson would be an effective single high defender with more focus on trusting his keys and being more willing to clean up the mess instead of trying to jump the football at such a high rate. Ceiling is a Pro Bowl player.
PROS: Size, length and speed are impressive. Physical and athletic safety prospect with excellent closing burst on routes breaking in front of him. Plays fast and aggressive. Constantly looking to get in on the action, typical Alabama mindset to dictate terms as a tackler. Has the radius to get runners to the ground by wrapping up outside his frame. Will lower the boom when given the opportunity. Can seamlessly adjust his angle to the ball on the fly. Flashes of range in his single high work. Overall fluidity and movement skills to be ideal in man coverage (limited reps on tape). Allowed just one catch in first career start vs. Clemson in the CFB playoff, which he was millimeters from intercepting. Didn’t surrender anything in coverage vs Georgia in national title game.
CONS: Technique and mental processing are still coming along. Can be quicker to recognize route combinations in his zone. Can get pulled away from his zone by the quarterback’s eyes. Can’t forget to go through his run reads before getting depth as a deep safety. At times is a little out of control as a tackler and can stand to throttle down some.