Tide All-American, WO-S standout Thompson declares for NFL Draft

Published 8:33 am Monday, January 14, 2019

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama redshirt junior safety and former West Orange-Stark standout Deionte Thompson formally declared his intentions to forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the 2019 NFL Draft in a social media post Sunday afternoon.

One day after fellow junior cornerback Saivion Smith made his decision known, Thompson followed suit to declare for April’s NFL Draft.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank God for allowing me to spend four amazing years at the University of Alabama,” Thompson wrote in a team-produced picture message attached to a tweet that included “Roll Tide Always & Forever!”

“The opportunity to be a part of this organization has been undeniably live-changing and an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. … (But) after careful consideration, many conversations, and (thorough) prayer, I’m happy to confirm that I will be entering the 2019 NFL Draft.”

Thompson made his decision Saturday afternoon after further discussions with Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who maintains a strong relationship with NFL personnel all around the league and annually seeks out their evaluations of his players prior to sitting down and discussion their options after the season.

Thompson, who received a late-first and early-second round grade from the NFL according to sources, is among the top safeties available in this year’s NFL Draft class and has been routinely projected as a mid-first round selection in most mock drafts online.

A consensus All-American this past season, Thompson started the last 17 games for Alabama, including all 15 this past season as the quarterback of the secondary, and ranked second on the team with 78 tackles to go along with two interceptions.

According to ESPN’s Todd McShay, Thompson is the No. 1-ranked safety and the eighth-highest-rated prospect overall.

Thompson, like most Tide players, arrived in Tuscaloosa as a highly touted recruit. He was a 4-star prospect, the No. 44 overall player and the second-best safety in the 2015 class, per 247Sports‘ composite rankings.

He was forced to wait his turn behind Bama’s seemingly endless stream of pro prospects, though. But it gave him a chance to learn from the likes of Eddie Jackson, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison.

As part of his October scouting report on the defensive back, Dalton Miller of CowboysWire called the safety a “true centerfield prospect” who “plays at a different speed than the other 21 guys on the field when hunting for the football in the air”: