OWINGS MILLS, MD - MAY 13: Christian Thompson #33 of the Baltimore Ravens takes part in a practice during the Baltimore Ravens minicamp on May 13, 2012 in Owings Mills, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
With Ed Reed flip-flopping frequently on the amount of time he has left with the Ravens over the course of the last couple of off-seasons, he has left a lot of fans looking to the future to who his eventual replacement will be. And while it is impossible for anyone to ever fill Ed's huge shoes, it is possible to replace him in the technical sense. So who will be Ed Reed's eventual successor?
I think the most likely candidate for this position is Baltimore's fourth-round pick, Christian Thompson. Christian played in the arguably the most competitive and physical conference in all of college football; the SEC. The SEC is the closest thing in college football you will get to the brutal style of play found in the AFC North.
Revision: Christian Thompson transferred to South Carolina State after his freshman year in the SEC, he did not play his entire college career in the SEC.
(More after "The Jump"...)
Christian Thompson's style of play is similar to Ed's in the sense that he can match up with some of the more athletic players in the NFL. He has extremely fluid hips and he makes very fast cuts. His two biggest strength are probably man-coverage and his contributions in run support.
There are some questions on Christian's ability in zone-coverage and his route-recognitions, but I think that those are two minor problems that can be fixed with experience. And I think spending a year or two being groomed under Ed Reed will definitely help him in those two areas.
Right now, it is almost impossible to tell what Christian will develop into. But I think, with a little hard-work and some time to develop, he has the ability to develop into a good FS one day!