Position: Running Back
College: Utah State
Weight: 200 lbs
Injury History: No Major Injury History
Games Evaluated: 2018: Michigan State, San Jose State, Wyoming
Scout: Roy Countryman
Excellent athleticism, and was named NFL.com as one of the top 18 freak athletes in all of college football. Has terrific lower body bulk, and strength to break arm tackles. Has what I like to call, beep-beep speed, which in essence means if you give him space, he can cut, and all you will see is dust. Not only does he have excellent speed, but his lateral agility is amazing. Runs with excellent balance, and can maintain it throughout contact. Strong back even though he is a little shorter in stature.
Has excellent contact balance, and can bounce around like a bowling ball when defenders try to catch him. Can adjust to poorly thrown passes with ease, and can make himself skinny in small running lanes.
Light feet, who uses quick chopping feet to eat up ground. Can stick a foot in the ground, cut, and burst upfield in a blink of an eye.
Possesses a ton of quick-twitch fiber, and has a terrific combination of lower body strength, speed, lateral agility, and balance that makes it hard for defenders to corral him.
Top End Speed: 8.20
Has a second gear when he gets space to separate from defenders who try and run him down. Would not surprise me to see him run in the 4.3-40yd.
With Ball In Hands: 7.48
Very good vision, sees rushing lanes develop, and will stay patient allowing his blocks to develop so that he has a chance to cut off of them. At times though he falls in love with bouncing everything off tackle, when he will need to cut back inside.
Cutting Ability: 7.60
Loose joints allow him the liberty to cut in an instant without losing much of his speed or quickness, which puts defenders at a disadvantage trying to keep pace with him.
Can juke, and evade defenders in space, but he loves running with authority, and is just as likely to put his head down and try and truck a defender as he is trying to throw a move on him.
Yards After Contact: 7.10
Inconsistent on tape, at times he will break multiple tackles with impressive leg drive, and will continue to chop feet on contact. Then on some plays he will easily go down with an arm tackle.
Ball Security: 8.10
Excellent at keeping the ball away from danger. Tucks ball in the correct arm to keep it away from pursuit, and while running between the tackles he two arm holds it so that there is no chance of fumbling it.
Has a set of soft hands, and corrals passes naturally. Will pluck passes away from his frame with ease.
Route Running: 6.60
Did not run a variety of routes out of the backfield, and was not utilized in the slot. Ran mostly pivot routes or flat routes.
Ability In Space: 7.30
A dangerous weapon on screen plays. Stays patient behind his convoy of OL, and then with the blink of an eye will juke and burst downfield for chunk plays.
Ability to Separate: 7.60
Hard for LB's to stick with him in and out of routes, as his fluidity puts them at a disadvantage, and he will gain space.
Lead Blocking: 6.10
Was not asked to lead block a ton, mostly just as a cut blocker on end arounds, which he was able to locate a defender to engage adequately, and get the job done.
Blocking In Space: 6.60
Does a good job locating a target to engage, but if the defender is bigger in stature with more strength he will lose the battle.
Pass Blocking: 7.10
Very good pass protector due to his balance, and lower body strength. Keeps his head up, shuffles feet, and will fit on blitzing defenders. At times he will panic because of immediate pressure and will dip his head, and lunge at defender.
Situational Awareness: 7.2
Quick eyes, and will identify blitzing DB's and delayed LB blitz. Will shuffle, show patience, and engage in with good timing.
Supremely confident, and gritty runner, who will keep grinding for any yardage he can get. Will churn legs on contact, and break arm tackles.
Only had one year of very good production at Utah State, but is second all time leading rusher at his previous college at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
Terrific stamina, and maintains his burst, speed, and effort throughout the entirety of the game. Doesn't come off the field a lot.
Willing to grind out yards inside, and get dirty in pass protection which his teammates appreciate. Stood out when his team's needed a big play.
Has a terrific feel for finding small creases that allow him to cut, burst through hole, and separate downfield. He also understands how to work himself open as an outlet target so that his QB can check down to him.
Was able to quickly assimilate to a varied offense at Utah State, and work himself up the depth chart to be the starter. Willing learner, and wants to refine his game.
Is a big play waiting to happen both as a runner inside the tackles, as well as off tackle. With his soft hands, and ability to separate against a LB's should be a weapon on third downs at the next level. Was not asked to play outside the confines of the RB position though, and it is a mystery why they did not utilize him out of the slot in spread formations.
Shorter statured dynamo, who has the ability to hit home runs when given a crease. Plays with excellent contact balance to be able to absorb defenders contact, and continue to fight for more yardage. Runs with terrific forward lean, and will keep his legs churning to try and pick up additional yardage. Has soft hands as an outlet target, and will separation from LB's with his lateral agility. In the open field he can beat defenders two ways with moves or cutting ability, or by simply dropping a shoulder an trying to run over the defender. Very good pass protector who uses his lower body bulk, and intelligence to be able sift through blitzers, and stifle their pursuit.
At times when blitzers come in a hurry, he will panic and drop head and lunge at blitzers, which usually leaves him way off target. Needs to learn more of the route tree as a pass catcher, so that he would have the opportunity to play out of the slot in a spread formation. Needs to keep focused each game on his tackle breaking ability, because one game he will keep grinding, and break a ton of tackles, and then in another he would go down on first contact.
Darwin Thompson is a big play waiting to happen, in his one year at Utah State he was a dynamic playmaker who has put out some high-quality game tape for evaluators to look at. Any team would welcome him with open arms into their RB committee, but certain teams like the Steelers, Eagles, Patriots, Chiefs, Saints, Raiders, Jets, and Ravens should pay close attention to him during the draft process. I could see him warranting a selection anywhere from late round 1 to at the latest round 3. His playing style reminds me of Maurice Jones-Drew.