Chiefs Rookie EDGE BJ Thompson from Stephen F. Austin has traits worth building around

Chiefs Rookie EDGE BJ Thompson from Stephen F. Austin has traits worth building around

with the 166th pick in 2023 NFL DraftKansas City Chiefs Choose Stephen F. Austin defensive end BJ Thompson.

What player will they get with Thompson? Let’s break down the movie:

Closing speed is just around the corner

As a prospect, Thompson has been commended for his bending, but Thompson doesn’t bend much in college. not say is I can not Lean – we’ll get to his agility later, but I think some of it is a power play issue.

Being 6’5″ and 220 lbs. means the tackles have a large hitting radius to wash you into the arc, so Thompson couldn’t win the corner the traditional way. His pads are quite high sometimes, but it’s hard for him to bowl through contact because he lacks strength Functional to keep track of the impulse.

However, Thompson was able to get into the corner in college. Instead of winning in shorter corners, Thompson used his elite first stride to quickly overtake the rivals, then used his long stride to get around the corner. Thompson has the speed to recover from longer and chasing corners, which means he doesn’t need to win on a shorter surface area.

Lateral agility

The encouraging aspect of Thompson is that his lateral agility is outstanding. In the East-West Shrine Bowl, Thompson showed more winning ability around a shorter cornerback. Thompson’s first step – even if he weighs heavier – is ludicrously fast. He’s also quite comfortable moving laterally, which allows him to get his hips around a corner more easily.

Thompson has great balance in his ankles – being able to bend the inside of his foot well and maintain balance. Its bending by contact is still a concern, but it was much better in this setting.

Reach length to get around the corner

Thompson’s pass rushing strategy was almost non-existent in college, but I’ve seen flashes of him understanding how to take advantage of his passing length. Thompson lacked the power to play and the size to rush hard, but he knew how to use his height in the corner. On this rep, Thompson flashes his hands on a two-handed bullpen, then, as the tackle begins to lean, he pulls his arms through and flattens the corner with a drop tackle.

Thompson will need to add more power to make a tackle that worries his bulls, but it’s encouraging to see the basis for Thompson understanding his length advantage and building on that in his fast-passing scheme.

To succeed in the NFL, he will have to maximize that area of ​​his game.

Late pass rush wins with agility

This rep isn’t necessarily a win, but I wanted to point out that Thompson did a good job winning late rush passes. His plan for a passing rush isn’t well defined, but he’s got the actors of the movie winning him over late in the act. Thompson can’t convert speed into strength very well, but he uses his agility well to attack either shoulder. He’s faster than most tackles, so he can change directions quickly and handle stumbling in an effort to recover.

Potential as a running defender

In college, Thompson wasn’t required to pitch like a traditional defensive end. Made by Stephen F. Thompson lacked the playing power and level of cushion to set the edge, so the coaching staff just allowed him to be athletic and spread mayhem.

It won’t work at the NFL level, so Thompson will have to increase his playing power and decrease his platforms to be a better running defender. Fortunately, there were signs of that improvement at the Shrine Bowl. Thompson boasted the ability to use his height as a defender on the run, while still maintaining a clean chest and amazing blocks. His improved strength also helped him not move around all the time, and he did a better job of keeping his pads down.

Thompson has a long way to go to become a capable running back, but seeing signs of that through the pre-drafting process is encouraging.

bottom line

I will be honest; I didn’t see a renewable defensive end when I watched Thompson’s college movie.

He was too thin to lunge with any force, which limited his ability to lunge passersby. Thompson’s cushion level was also too high to maximize his flex, and he didn’t have any kind of rushing passing scheme. As a running back, Thompson was too skinny to hold up at the NFL level.

However, his performance at the Shrine Bowl encouraged me. Thompson was able to add strength and weight to play against better competition, and he played well in that setting. His pads were better, he was using his height and he was bending more than he did on Stephen F. Austin. Based on this movie, there are tools to work with.

The best part about picking Thompson is that it resets the contract and development window that the Chiefs had with defensive end Joshua Kaindoh. Kaindoh was unsuccessful, so the Chiefs took another run with Thompson. I still think he needs 20 lbs. And at least one to two years of development before he can make it into an NFL competition, but for a sixth-round draft pick, that’s perfectly fine.

b grade

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