Last year, the Redskins jumped into the NFL Supplemental Draft when they used a sixth-round selection on Adonis Alexander, a big cornerback from Virginia Tech.
Now, for the second year in a row, it could make sense for Washington to pull from the supplemental ranks. As a quick refresher, players usually enter into the Supplemental Draft after academic or legal troubles in college won't allow them to play in the upcoming fall season.
This year Washington State safety Jalen Thompson might be a fit for the Redskins.
The team guaranteed $45 million to Landon Collins this offseason, making him one of the highest-paid safeties in the NFL. Right now, Washington doesn't have a tremendous amount of options to pair with him. Third-year pro Montae Nicholson is the leader on the depth chart, and while he's flashed potential, it must be hard for Greg Manusky to count on Nicholson. He's dealt with injuries, concussions and a legal issue last season.
Beyond Nicholson, the Redskins have Troy Apke and Deshazor Everett. Apke was a fourth-round pick in 2018 that showed next to nothing in an injury-plagued rookie season. Everett has been with the Burgundy and Gold for four seasons and is a productive special teams player that rarely gets defensive snaps.
Looking at the options to play next to Collins, the sudden availability of Thompson becomes quite intriguing.
In three seasons with the Cougars, Thompson hasn't missed a game while logging 190 tackles, six interceptions and five fumble recoveries. CBS Sports projected Thompson, who's available now after the NCAA made a surprise ruling about his 2019 eligibility, to land as a second or third-round supplemental pick, and included this scouting report for the 6-foot, 190 lb. safety:
Good height, smaller-ish frame for the safety position. Athleticism is impressive. Very fluid, non-jagged mover in any direction. Hybrid safety/slot cornerback with experience and effective play in man to man. Quickness is more impressive than his overall speed. Lack of size and strength shows up on occasion against bigger blockers in the run game, but he's a noticeably aggressive, active run defender with solid range. Plus body control, awareness, and ball skills to make game-changing plays in coverage.
The Redskins could have interest. The team will get footage of Thompson's workout from Los Angeles, but they will be competing with plenty of other teams. From DraftAnalyst.com:
Former Washington State safety Jalen Thompson worked out in front of more than two dozen teams this afternoon in Los Angeles and the reviews have been positive. Twenty-six teams were on hand for Thompson’s workout including the director of scouting for the Houston Texans.
There is one big problem for the Redskins to target Thompson: The team already traded away their 2020 second-round pick to acquire Montez Sweat in the back half of the first round this year. Also, with the signing of Collins, don't expect Washington to land much of a haul in the NFL's compensatory pick formula next offseason. Sure, the Redskins could get some picks for the losses of Jamison Crowder and Preston Smith, but expect the compensation to be minimal when balanced against the acquisition of Collins.
That means the Redskins aren't flush with draft picks for 2020, like they were in 2019 when they made the move for Alexander. Plus, it seems like Thompson's price tag will be higher than the sixth-rounder Washington paid for Alexander.
Don't rule out the Redskins moving for Thompson. The team has been more aggressive this offseason than they have in some time, and he's a player that would fit a need. But it's also important fans recognize that the situation surrounding this year's supplemental draft is quite different than the same time last season.
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