The Seahawks made off with one of the best defensive backs in the NFL Draft in Tedric Thompson with the 111th overall pick. Will he see significant playing time his rookie season?
The Seahawks added to their defense in the NFL Draft, especially their secondary. With Shaquill Griffin, Delano Hill, Tedric Thompson, and Mike Tyson, Pete Carroll and John Schneider have a new crop of reinforcements to build their defense of the future.
Griffin is a Richard Sherman look-alike, in play style and hairstyle. Hill is a big safety ready to attack the line of scrimmage in a Kam Chancellor mold. Tyson (no relation to the former Heavyweight Champion and cameo star of “The Hangover,” so stop with the jokes, please) is a versatile, physical defensive back capable of playing safety and corner.
Thompson possessed a center fielder radar similar to Earl Thomas for the Colorado Buffaloes that led to missing wide receivers for opponents and all kinds of havoc. While his teammate Ahkello Witherspoon got most of the Draft glory, Thompson received Pro Football Focus’ College Football Award for Best Coverage Defender in the nation.
The Seahawks needed another ball-hawk to shut down the middle of the field. After seeing the not-terrible but ultimately inadequate Steven Terrell try to fill Thomas’ shoes late in the season and the playoffs, defensive coordinator Kris Richard needed new blood.
If Terrell was asked to fill in for just about any other free safety in the league, he would have been fine. But the Thomas (or Earl, if you prefer) role in the Seahawks defense is so far-reaching and important that a mere mortal isn’t up for it.
More from Emerald City Swagger
- Seattle Seahawks: To rest or not to rest, that is the question
- Washington State Football: What you need to know for 2018 Alamo Bowl
- Washington Basketball: 3 takeaways from Huskies win over Sacramento St.
- Seattle Seahawks: 12s still waiting to exhale
- Seattle Seahawks: 4 Takeaways from 26-23 Loss to the 49ers
The ideal situation is likely that Thompson gets a redshirt season under his belt before he steps up into the free safety role for Richard’s defense. He’ll contribute on special teams and learn how Thomas can patrol such a huge swath of the field. However, he could prove in Training Camp that he’s more NFL starter-ready than we all thought. His 23 total pass breakups (INTs and pass breakups) was tied with Witherspoon for the most in the nation last year.
The Seahawks already have a collection of defensive backs that figure to see time. With newcomer Bradley McDougald possibly playing as a third safety or slot coverage man, the opportunities in Thompson’s rookie year appear stunted. But in a system that rewards practice and Training Camp warriors, we could see Thompson making an impact sooner than expected. With some training in the Legion of Boom way, Thompson could be another star in the making for the Seahawks.
Check out Thompson’s Draft Weekend video: