He stands at just five-foot-eight-inches tall, but make no mistake, Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie tailback Darwin Thompson will not be overlooked.
Picked with the final selection of the sixth round in the 2019 NFL Draft last weekend, Thompson has had to prove himself at every turn – from junior college to his one season at Utah State in 2018 – and even back in high school.
“My junior year of high school, the kids told me that I couldn’t be a running back because I was too slow and not big enough. After that year, it just never left me,” said Thompson, who has less than five percent body fat on his 200-pound frame. “Everybody always asks me how I got my trap [muscles]. It was that one year of high school, I just went crazy on the traps and they never left.Think of Darwin Thompson as a compact rock with a football.
Thompson is a different type of running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, a style of runner they haven’t had the past few seasons. Listed at 5-foot-8 and 200 pounds, Thompson could be a multi-dimensional playmaker used in a number of ways: as a conventional between-the-tackles back, a matchup advantage in space on the perimeter, a return man on special teams or another gadget player for coach Andy Reid.
Entering last week’s NFL Draft, the Chiefs wanted to select a running back. General manager Brett Veach waited until the sixth round (214th pick) to select the Utah State product. On the initial assessment, Thompson fits many of Reid’s and Veach’s requirements. He protects the ball — he had zero fumbles last season at Utah State — and can be an additional receiver out of the backfield, which Reid values. For Veach, Thompson is a determined prospect who has always…
The Kansas City Chiefs added to their backfield on Saturday afternoon, picking Utah State tailback Darwin Thompson with the No. 214 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.Much like the first week at any new job, there’s a ton being thrown at the most recent additions to the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster during this weekend’s rookie minicamp.
For running back Darwin Thompson, a highly productive sixth-round pick from Utah State with a skill set well-suited for the Chiefs’ offense, the first hurdle was getting over the nerves of meeting his new boss.
“You talk about star struck,” Thompson said, “when I met coach Andy Reid in my top-30 visit, I’m like, ‘Man, this is a Hall of Fame coach. He’s on his way.’ Just be in his system to see what he’s done with others at the running back position, I’m very blessed, it’s the perfect situation.”
Thompson is only 5-feet-8, but he’s shifty and elusive in space, which already garnered attention of his teammates.Seventh-round pick Nick Allegretti, an interior offensive lineman from Illinois, believes Thompson could become a fan favorite.
Enter Darwin Thompson from Utah State. In his only season with the Aggies, Thompson rushed for 1,044 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those numbers don’t necessarily jump out at you, because it’s how he gained those yards and touchdowns that impresses even the most accurate analysts.
He has an uncanny set of attributes that give him more of that “special weapon” type of player. He can play all over the field, running, catching, and returning.
His contact balance is praised by everyone who’s watched him. He’s tough as nails. He squats 500 lbs with ease, never goes down easy, and can make semi trucks miss him in a narrow tunnel. The kid can play.