More On Safety Christian Thompson


The Baltimore Ravens seem very high on fourth round pick Christian Thompson so I thought I'd dig up whatever I can about him and share it with you all.

Here are some of his strengths from Dane Bugler:

Strengths: Solid frame with good overall length and muscle tone. Nice job adding weight and spending time in the weight room. Very good natural speed for the position and plays just as fast. Smooth body control and footwork to cleanly change directions with very good acceleration and first step quickness. Physical striker with an aggressive, downhill mentality. Enjoys contact and looks for the knock-out punch. Looks the separate ball from player at the point of attack. Competitive player with strong leadership and football character. Weaknesses: Plays too high out of his stance and doesn't look as natural in reverse. Raw instincts and often gets caught with his eyes in the wrong place. Doesn't track the ball particularly well and needs to
do a better job anticipating what the offense wants to do. Struggles with body positioning. Doesn't always trust what he sees and takes indecisive angles at times. Will lower his head prior to contact and needs to rid himself of some bad habits. Played most of his career at the FCS-level and lacks ideal experience for the next level. Didn't leave Auburn on great terms and his overall character needs to be addressed. -- Dane Brugler

Here is what NFL.com had to say about Thompson:

Overview

Thompson is an intriguing and big safety from little-known South Carolina State. He is a very athletic player and dominated at times throughout college. He is not great to make a play on the ball in coverage and struggles at times reacting in zone, but he is a very athletic mover and capable of covering big, fast tight ends at the next level. He is a bit of an unknown but could continue to rise throughout the pre-draft process, and his value could be understated at this time given the emergence of athletic tight ends in the NFL in 2011.

Strengths

Thompson is a big-time athlete. With his frame, he can match up with the NFL's biggest and fastest on offense. He excels in man coverage where he uses his quick-twitched feet and smooth hips to cover. He is good in off-man, where he can sit and wait on a move before reacting and then blanketing. He is a raw player who hasn't been exposed to top talent at this point in his career. He understands the game and is good to come and fill in run support, although he is a better tackler against the pass than he is straight up against the run. He needs to get tougher and get off blocks from bigger linemen more quickly. He would fit in right away on an NFL defense.

Weaknesses

Thompson is raw and hasn't played against top talent in college. He struggles at times in zone and can look out of sorts. He is not reliable to catch the ball, although he is around it often. He doesn't have speed that translates to the field when he is in pursuit; he needs to rely on his footwork more than he does at the current time so that he doesn't get out of position and have to chase at the next level.

After an endorsement by Ed Reed the Ravens thought enough of Thompson to give him a fourth round grade. Other teams may not have had him ranked as high but hopefully that will be to the benefit of your Baltimore Ravens. He will undoubtedly see time on special teams this season and hopefully show enough in training camp and preseason to warrant some playing time on defense once the season starts.

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