2016 NFL Draft prospect preview: who to watch Friday September 4th 2015

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Dec 31, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats running back Nick Wilson is tackled by Boise State Broncos safety Darian Thompson (4) in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl at Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Player: Darian Thompson, Boise State

Position: Safety

Game Info: Boise State vs. Washington, Friday September 4th at 10:15pm on ESPN

Boise State’s Darian Thompson features good size and athleticism for the safety position. He’s among several safeties looking to establish themselves as early-round prospects. Thompson’s combination of physical traits and production put him in the discussion.

His ball skills and good hands are what will attract attention as he has the potential to generate a lot of turnovers. Thompson has a knack for putting himself in position to make a play on the ball and pull down interceptions. It helps that he has the size to get physical with bigger wide receivers and tight ends.

As a run defender, Thompson is a sound tackler who breaks down and remains balanced. He has shown the ability to deliver big hits and dislodge the ball from the carrier. However, he must work on improving the angles he takes to the football.

There are situations where he appears to quit on the play rather than taking the proper angle and chasing down the runner. The safety position is often the last line of defense in the running game which means playing hard and smart is very important.

His combination of size, athleticism and production puts Thompson in the 2nd or 3rd round range.