8

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson

Clemson DT Brandon Thompson

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson

Player Information:

Brandon Thompson, DT Clemson
6’ 2 310 lbs.

Hometown: Thomasville, GA

Major: Management

NFL Combine

Bench Press:  35 reps (225 lb)
Vertical Leap: 31.0 inches
Broad Jump:  100 inches
Shuttle: 4.71
Three Cone:   7.97

News and Notes:

Before he joined the Clemson Tigers, Thomspon was ranked the 39th highest prospect in the nation by ESPN.com and was the number three defensive tackle.  He was supposed to redshirt his first year, but had the redshirt removed after injuries to Clemson’s defensive line forced him into action.   As a freshman, Thompson  had 25 tackles which fourth highest amongst freshmen.  He is nicknamed “Yams” because of his big thighs that helped him anchor the line for the Tigers.   Thompson’s senior year began with the loss of Da’Quan Bowers to the NFL.  His low tackle numbers didn’t often tell the big picture as his ability to disrupt the offensive line opened opportunities for his teammates.

What they’re saying about him:

Wes Bunting (NationalFootballPost.com): “A guy who should be able to come in and be a lineman who can win inside vs. the run game. Looks a bit limited as a pass rusher, but will be able to push the pocket and threaten gaps off the ball. A starting caliber 43 nose inside.”

NFL.com (Combine) “  He is consistent in his play and uses his feet to make plays happen against the run. He comes off the ball quickly and is able to fill gaps well at his size. He also make plays on the ball carrier. He is a very strong player who knows how to use his hands and disrupt plays in the backfield. Thompson tends to be negated by double teams inside. His substandard technique can limit him at times and contributes to his inability to get past those doubles. Though he is stellar against the run, he is limited against the pass, only occasionally making things happen as a rusher  “

Rob Rang (CBSSports.com) “….Can make the impressive chest to chest bear hug tackle in the hole due to his ability to wreak havoc in the backfield. Good strength, though his marginal arm length limits his ability to grab hold of ball-carriers as they run by. Willing to lay out and shows good hand-eye coordination to trip up ball-carriers. Explodes out of his stance, demonstrating a burst upfield to slip gaps and the lateral agility once past the line of line of scrimmage to chase down the quarterback. Inconsistent use of hands. Flashes quick hands to slap away blocks, but too often gets caught in the in the hand-fighting at the line of scrimmage, rather than quickly disengaging.”

Video:

 

 

Video Analysis

Shows incredible explosiveness off the line.  Can move an offensive line and force the running back to adjust his lane on the fly.  Shows a lack of ability to let up on a block to turn around and make a tackle. Can get to the quarterback but how fast is the question. Definitely needs to work on his pass rush, but can be very disruptive in run defense.  Has difficulty breaking through double teams

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke

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17 Responses to “NFL Draft Prospect Profile: DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson”

  1. Mark says:

    Sounds like a guy that GB could put at the nose to spell Raji, or allow him to kick out to end. It would sure be nice to add a guy like this in the early 2nd round via trade.

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    • Kris Burke Kris Burke says:

      We saw how Raji did at end this year. I think he’d be better at NT but they need to get his snap total down. He played out of necessity in 2010 because of injury, but this year?

      Thompson would be a good run stuffer to complement Raji, absolutely. He’s not the best blitzer, but he’d create enough havoc on the line of scrimmage to open up things for Matthews and company.

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      • Zack says:

        Yeah we need to put Raji back where he belongs and quit over using him. Some think that he underperformed this year due to no camp so his strength and endurance wasn’t where it should have been. I’d agree to some extent but I’d say the number of snaps he played had a lot more to do with it. That and playing where he’s not designed to play.

        In fact I would have prefered that they just used the rotational guys on end and let Raji rest more. Yeah they would have been weak but Raji wasn’t much of an improvement at that position and it also wore him out to the point that he played like he did this year. Better to have one weakness then try to compensate and develop another weakness to compound the problem. Ok I’m done crying over spilled milk as long as we don’t repeat the mistake next year. Let’s say we draft an end and he doesn’t work out, neal gets hurt again and we’re back to the same situation. Just let your rotational guys do their best and use Raji how he’s meant to be used.

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  2. Zack says:

    I like his explosiveness and I think he’s fairly quick… Just don’t know how his strength will hold up against NFL O linemen. I wouldn’t really even care as long as he draws double teams even if he’s neutralized it would take some heat off of Mathews but that’s assuming he draws double teams in the NFL. I think he would add a new element to our D-Line but I’d like to see more prospects before I gave him my endorsement… that said I like this guy alot more than Crick, =P. You guys are thinking DE for this guy right?

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    • Kris Burke Kris Burke says:

      I think he’d be an end to move Raji back to his natural nose tackle position. Thompson struggled with double teams in college. This would be an interesting choice in maybe the second round.

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      • Zack says:

        Yeah I’m fine if he’s neutralized with a double team… he can struggle once they do it all day long. 99% of players are going to be neutralized when double teamed so barring some freak of nature you can say that about most people. What I’m more concerned with is drawing the double team in the first place. It would be very difficult for teams to double team him and mathews and especially if we get a decent ROLB.

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        • Kris Burke Kris Burke says:

          Which is why, if the Packers take him and he’s available, it will be the second round. I think you have to get the ROLB first. Doesn’t mean Ted won’t trade up, but Thompson doesn’t stand out like that prospect Ted would be assertive for.

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          • Zack says:

            Yeah I think it was bearmeat that really wanted us to pick a 1st round DE then 2nd round ROLB. I’d be on board with that IF vinny curry is available second round but we’d probably have to trade up to get him in the second. If Curry has an outstanding Pro Day and moves back into the 1st round I’d be a lot more inclined to agree with you. It’s also going to be hard to trade up in the 2nd with the way our picks are so I think the safer bet is going ROLB in the 1st. I don’t see many ROLB’s that I like in the second. I see a lot more DT’s in the 2nd that I like so taking Perry in the first and going for a guy like this in the 2nd is striking me as a smarter choice.

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            • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

              Zack – it was Bearmeat who wanted a DT in the 1st round. IMO there are more quality guys at DT at the top of the draft, and Perry is the only one who looks great at OLB to me.

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              • Zack says:

                That was not meant to be a burn or anything, just restating the thought… you seem a little defensive.

                the more i look at them the more I start to agree with you about there being quality DT’s available in the second which is why I’m leaning more and more to saying we should take a quality ROLB in the 1st and go for DT in the 2nd. the quality ROLB’s will be gone by the 2nd. Also I disagree that there aren’t any quality rolb’s other than Perry… I think there are.

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              • Zack says:

                the quality ROLB’s will probably be gone with the exception of maybe vinny curry…

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              • Bearmeat Bearmeat says:

                Naw – not defensive at all. When it comes down to it, we are just amateurs looking at limited data.

                That being said, I’ll restate what I look for in a high draft pick:

                1. Quality of his game film
                2. Quality of his opponents (SEC vs Conf USA)
                3. His football attitude/intelligence
                4. His measurables
                5. Level of high play for a few years. (i.e. not a 1 year wonder)

                Check out the OLB/DE’s vs the DT’s on Mayock’s page. Curry and Merculius scare me. I’d like Perry or Upshaw from that group (as a 3/4 team) in round 1. That’s it.

                For DT’s, I’d be thrilled with any of the top 5, perhaps with the exception of Worthy. His motor is inconsistent.

                All I’m saying is that from what I’ve read, the analysts say that the DT talent is great and deep in the early rounds. Not so much for OLB.

                http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/09000d5d827642a3/article/postcombine-position-rankings-for-2012-nfl-draft

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      • Zack says:

        Quick question, he’s explosive as hell. Do you know how consistantly he moved that fast off the snap? If he moves like that a majority of the time then I’m liking him more and more as I watch it. But if his motor is suspect I don’t like him as much.

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  3. Ron LC says:

    Big thighs are more favorable than Neal’s pigeon legs. He would fit the needs on the line and be a help to others on the line.

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  4. Ted, of Bill and Ted says:

    a couple additional notes on thompson…

    -he ran a 4.9 at clemson’s pro day

    -despite being labeled a run stuffer, he led clemson in quarterback pressures this year (18)

    info from cbssports.com

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