PFF scouting report: Darian Thompson, S, Boise State
Below is the PFF draft profile for Boise State’s Darian Thompson, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.
Scheme diverse safety
Stats to know:
Fifth-best grade in the class in 2015, and two of the players ahead of him (Su’a Cravens and Jeremy Cash) are likely NFL linebackers
What he does best:
— Has nice instincts in coverage, can diagnose plays and take good angles in coverage to the pass most of the time. Had five interceptions in 2015 as well as another five passes broken up
— Plays the run aggressively and with strength. Can set the edge against pulling linemen and make aggressive plays against running backs and blockers
— Can get to a landmark and break forward on passes underneath in a way most safeties can’t.
— Has good size at 6-2 and 208 pounds
— Comes up in the run game like a torpedo, but tackles like one too, launching himself into the ball carrier and hoping that does the job. Most of the time it does, but he missed 11 tackles in 2015 and is susceptible to a side step that leaves him just face first on the floor
— Lapses in coverage allowing players behind him without the speed to close the gap back down. Ran a 4.7 flat 40-yard dash and that shows up on tape at times
— His size is a good thing most of the time, but it leads him to playing a little too upright and struggling to change direction as well as some of the smaller safeties in the class
Pro style comparison:
Morgan Burnett, Green Bay Packers. Nobody will confuse him for Ed Reed anytime soon, but Morgan Burnett has become a pretty good safety, and has flashed the kind of ability that Thompson has in both the run and pass game. Like Burnett, Thompson may be an inconsistent player at the next level due to the holes in his game, but if he can iron those out and put it all together he has the ability to be a very good performer in the secondary.
The league is not full of players that can perform well in coverage and still offer something in the run game. Thompson flashes the ability to do both, and has graded well in each area, but just can’t put it all together in a way that avoids mistakes in each facet. If he can fix those issues and the big plays they result in, he could be an excellent safety, but even with them there is a place for him in the NFL given his plus points.