Trenton Thompson Could Be A Steal In The 2018 NFL Draft If He Can Stay Healthy

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A Look At 2018 Draft Prospect Trenton Thompson As A Potential Selection By The Detroit Lions

Trenton Thompson had one of the most exciting tape reels of the day three defensive lineman I have looked at so far. The Detroit Lions need an interior defensive lineman with athletic ability and Thompson fits that bill really well. He could end up hearing his name called around Detroit’s fourth-round pick if they have yet to address the position by the beginning of day three.

What Trenton Thompson Has Going For Him

At 6’4″, 292 lbs, Thompson has prototypical size for interior line life in the NFL. His length and quick burst help him eat up a lot of ground quickly and make tackles that many defensive tackles simply cannot. He has a wide base that, with proper footwork, can really help him drive straight through most offensive lineman. Can grab and throw to create space to operate in.

His pad level was consistently really low, which made him really hard to move off the point of attack if he initiated contact. His ability to change direction is unreal for a man of his size. His ability to bend the edge and the quick first step he possesses, helped him find success rushing from the 3′ position at Georgia.

He has a great motor and will continue to look for the play downfield from him. He takes good angles to the ball-carrier but can get lost trying to weave through traffic in the trenches. Can really lay the wood if he is given a free path to the offensive player. However, the problem is it was hard to see any of this with consistency in Thompson’s game, given that he has been injured for most of his career.

Trenton Thompson’s Health Is Factor

Thompson has dealt with several injuries affecting his shoulder, MCL, and ankles. This past season, he played less than 40% of the defensive snaps due to injury. It’s been said that he has played through injuries through much of his career at Georgia. While you do admire the toughness and grit he displays in being able to fight and play through the pain, you also wonder how much he may have slowed the healing process by continuing to play.

All three of these injuries could follow Thompson to the NFL. Ankle and ligament injuries do not always heal one hundred percent, so there is a chance he may not return to that ability. However, this is the hard part to evaluate from this side of the equation. Teams and their medical teams will have to declare for themselves the severity of the injuries and their impact on his career.

However, if a team does clear Thompson of injury liability, they could get a very special interior pass rusher. His strength, first step, and ability to change direction could help sway teams in his favor and take on the risk of making him their fourth or fifth round selection. Depending on who is available and who the team has already selected, the Lions may be able to take Thompson early on day three and feel good about the value they got – provided they medically clear him.

Chat with Zac on Twitter @Warbs24 and on the Detroit Lions Subreddit community!

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