2019 NFL Draft Prospect Report: Darwin Thompson

Picture credit: Utah State Athletics

Picture credit: Utah State Athletics

Name: Darwin Thompson

Position: RB

School: Utah State

Listed Height: 5’8

Listed Weight: 200

Strengths: Thompson is an explosive athlete who moves freely with mobility in his hips. Weaves through high volumes of traffic with ease and makes direct lateral cuts to beat linear angling defenders. Utilizes jump cuts, stop-start moves, and head fakes to clear his run path and avoid tackle attempts. Thompson makes highlight reel plays on a loop where he hurdles over defenders and beats out tackle attempts with prompt change of direction and elite agility. Accelerates on a dime from the mesh point and races into the alley or around the corner. He has a rare burst that allows him to split defenders and boost into the next level. Able to make full speed cuts. Illustrates run pacing and vision in accordance with the blocking scheme to be able to flow to the correct gap. Feels out cutback lanes after pressing an entry point. Smooth cutter who shows high level reactionary quickness and limited waisted movements. Attacks with a low center of gravity to come to balance on contact. Good leg drive, frame compaction, and leverage in his runs to get off tackles and keep his momentum trending forward. Stiff-arms and lowers his shoulder to soften hits. Can FIT his hands on the inside of the chest and help out in pass pro and has functional hands and receiving ability from the backfield.

Weaknesses: Darwin Thompson is undersized but there is a successful crop of RBs with a similar build and play style in the league. He can mis-time his upfield cuts and shows inconsistencies in his ability to read the block layout. Tends to be to jumpy in the backfield and can lose chunks of yardage for the offense. Shows points where his lack of length is apparent in throws he has to stretch out for.

Overview and Insights: Thompson has elite playmaking upside that translates well to today’s game. He may get undervalued because of his size, but his pure ability reflects an instant change of pace back with two-way ability. Depending on the team he is drafted to i could see him work into the number one RB role at some point in his career.

Round Projection: 4th-5th

Ideal Fits: Raiders, Jets, Eagles

Pro Comparison: Tarik Cohen

Scout: Taylor Moser