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Versatility will be key for Jalen Thompson making the Cardinals

If WSU safety can play corner in nickel defense his prospects look good

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 16 Oregon State at Washington State Photo by Robert Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jalen Thompson learned his professional fate yesterday as he was selected in the 5th round in the NFL supplemental draft by the Arizona Cardinals. The question now is whether Thompson make the Cardinal’s roster for the upcoming season. Teams generally want the players that they spend draft capital on to make the roster, but the player must still prove himself.

The Cardinals are in a massive rebuild under new coach Kliff Kingsbury, but they do have some solid safeties already on the roster. Former Husky and Pro Bowl special teamer Budda Baker and veteran playmaker DJ Swearagen are the favorites to start in the back end of the defense. The team also drafted former Alabama star safety Deionte Thompson in the 5th round of April’s draft. The rest of the safeties are mostly journeyman.

Something that could work in Thompson’s favor is his ability to play cornerback in the Cardinal’s nickel defense. The team is pretty weak at cornerback behind star Patrick Peterson although they have high hopes for second round cornerback Byron Murphy. It’s easy to envision Thompson as a both a backup safety and 3rd cornerback in the Arizona defense. Thompson is a solid tackler with excellent cover skills for a safety whose only weakness is lack of size for the safety position. Seems like a perfect fit for a hybrid position wrecking havoc in the nickel defense. As much as I hate to see it as a Seahawks fan this could be a fantastic opportunity for Thompson with the Birds.


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Arizona Cardinals spend fifth-round pick on Washington State’s Jalen Thompson in Supplemental Draft | The Spokesman-Review
Jalen Thompson, whose Washington State career ended unceremoniously two weeks ago when the standout safety learned he’d lost his final season of eligibility, was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round of Wednesday’s NFL Supplemental Draft.