Nacogdoches High School
Fast outside cornerback who is willing to get physical and raw technically.
Playing as the boundary cornerback, Thompson possesses above average long speed, allowing him to carry receivers vertically. He is light on his active feet, displaying good foot speed. Thompson is best in close man to man coverage where he can rely on his speed and mirroring ability. That trust in his speed is reflected in press coverage, where he can afford to turn late. With the ball in the air, Thompson is very good at playing the hands of receivers, knocking it loose at the catchpoint. His effort in run defense is solid, striking smaller blockers physically and shedding well by using violent hands.
Measuring in below the desired size at the position, Thompson lacks fluidity and has hip stiffness, hurting his transitions. Here receivers find success attacking his blind spot. A narrow base at the top of routes does not allow him to stick with sudden route runners who create separation out of their breaks. Suddenness also causes him to lose his footing occasionally. Average closing speed prevents him from being a playmaker when breaking on routes from zone coverage. Thompson can get unnecessarily grabby when he is in good position. He is a poor finisher as a tackler, failing to wrap up. Occasional miscommunications with teammates lead to blown coverages.
Outside cornerback with good speed who struggles against sudden route runners. Thompson is best in man coverage as he is comfortable in trail and trusts his speed. He displays hip stiffness and a narrow base as well as a lack of playmaking ability. Thompson projects as a depth cornerback in a man coverage defense who can become a quality backup and spot starter with improved technique. He has to be a more reliable tackler to be a quality special teamer, maximizing his speed and physicality.
Thompson attended Nacogdoches High School in Texas and was named an All-American, all-state and two-time all-district honoree. As a senior, he tallied 71 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries on defense with 15 receptions for 210 yards and four touchdowns on offense. After high school, 247Sports ranked Thompson as a 4-Star recruit, the 302nd-best recruit nationally, the 35th-ranked cornerback in the country and the 46th recruit in the state of Wisconsin. Thompson committed to Texas and his freshman season in 2017 was mainly spent on contributing on special teams as he tallied 13 total tackles and one pass breakup in nine games. He earned a slightly bigger role in 2018, playing in 13 games and starting three, finishing with 22 total tackles, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry. Thompson was primed for a starting role in 2019 but unfortunately got injured (unspecified broken foot) after the first four games and decided to redshirt the rest of the season. He returned with a vengeance in 2020, starting all 10 games and adding 28 tackles (19 solo), three tackles for loss, three pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and one interception. Heading into the 2021 season, Thompson has been named to the 2021 Lott Impact Trophy’s list and to the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl watch list. Going into his 5th year as a Senior, Thompson has displayed his ability to lead his younger teammates. Head coach, Tom Herman is quite aware of Thompson’s impact in that regard, “He’s on the leadership council — everybody looks up to him because he handles himself like a pro. He’s very, very mature. The young kids really gravitate towards him because he’s got an easy way about him where he can speak to a young guy very seriously, very poignantly, but not demeaningly and not condescendingly. It’s fun to watch him lead.”
Current Player Value/Potential Player Value
6.7 / 7.6
11/28/21 – Texas senior defensive back Josh Thompson will forego his additional year of eligibility and enter the 2022 NFL Draft. “Although I do have one more year of eligibility left, I sat and talked with my family and coaches about the best decision for me and my future,” Thompson announced on Saturday. “My time here has been unbelievable, and I don't regret one second of being at this amazing University. With that being said, I have decided to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. Hook 'em." The fifth-year senior started 22 games during his Longhorns career, logging two interceptions and 108 total tackles, in addition to playing a key role on special teams. While Thompson possesses prototype size, above-average athleticism and a keen nose for football, NFL scouts will want to see improved footwork during the pre-draft process. A fractured fibula suffered against Kansas ended his season prematurely, causing him to miss three games. However, Thompson has since accepted his Senior Bowl invitation, which will be played on February 6th, where he is expected to be a full participant. Listed at 6-feet and 191 pounds, Thompson is viewed as a potential mid-late round pick who can develop into a valuable backup at the next level, so long that his medical evaluation checks out properly. The NFL Draft Bible will continue to monitor his path to the draft. -- Texas DB Confirms His Intent For 2022 NFL Draft
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