New York Giants: Is Darian Thompson The Answer at FS?
By Michael Stewart
Darian Thompson (FS) was selected in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft after a stellar career at Boise State. So with one door closing and another opening up, Thompson’s NFL career is now underway. The 6’2/208lbs safety has the prototype built for an NFL Free Safety with his long arms and athletic body. Thompson will embark on a journey to compete with fellow free safeties on the Giants roster such as: Nat Berhe, Mykkele Thompson (no relations) and Bennett Jackson.
Darian Thompson will never be mistaken for a world-class sprinter, however; Thompson has a unique ability to have a nose for the ball (19 career INTS in college).
The term most associated with Thompson is “Ball-hawk” which is evident of his total interceptions. Giants Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo likes what he see thus far during training camp and is quick to point out leadership qualities he has noticed already.
Darian Thompson echoes those statements by Spagnuolo by saying “It is very important for a safety to be able to command in the secondary because they can see everything most of the time. They can be a leader back there and a quarterback of the defense. That’s something I’ve been doing throughout the college level, and it comes natural for me. I think it’s something they look for in a safety.”
Darian Thompson competition are all lobbying for that starting spot and need to prove to the coaches that their health issues are behind them. Nat Berhe is returning from calf surgery and wants to re-establish himself as the player he was as a rookie in 2014. Nicknamed “The Missile” by safeties coach Dave Merritt, Berhe could have a slight edge over all the other competitors, but needs to continue to improve. The last two remaining candidates (Mykkele Thompson (Achilles tendon) and Bennett Jackson (knee) also need to show Steve Spagnuolo that they are healthy and that they deserve a chance to start at Free Safety.
Final Thought: The Free Safety position is probably one of two positions that are wide open and anyone can claim it with a solid performance during training camp and preseason games. Whoever emerges as the winner and it is still very unclear, however; one thing is certain…the Giants will have the most depth and talent at the Free Safety position in years.