04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Ravens' picks: Round 4/130 - Christian Thompson, FS, 6-0, 211, South Carolina State...Mobile centerfielder ran a 4.50 at the NFL scouting combine. Big and strong enough to play in the box. Will begin his career on special teams and back up starters Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard. - The Sports Xchange
Thompson received attention from several high-profile programs out of high school, but ended up at South Carolina State after he violated several team rules after his freshman season at Auburn. He lacks ideal playing experience with most of his experience coming at the FCS-level. He is an aggressive, hard-hitting player who looks for the big hit and embraces the violence of the game. Thompson plays fast and moves well for the position with smooth footwork and body flexibility, but is extremely raw mentally, needing to develop his instincts. He looks like a special teams player with some starting potential down the road.
Strengths: Solid frame with good overall length and muscle tone. Nice job adding weight and spending time in the weight room. Very good natural speed for the position and plays just as fast. Smooth body control and footwork to cleanly change directions with very good acceleration and first step quickness. Physical striker with an aggressive, downhill mentality. Enjoys contact and looks for the knock-out punch. Looks the separate ball from player at the point of attack. Competitive player with strong leadership and football character.
Weaknesses: Plays too high out of his stance and doesn?t look as natural in reverse. Raw instincts and often gets caught with his eyes in the wrong place. Doesn?t track the ball particularly well and needs to do a better job anticipating what the offense wants to do. Struggles with body positioning. Doesn?t always trust what he sees and takes indecisive angles at times. Will lower his head prior to contact and needs to rid himself of some bad habits. Played most of his career at the FCS-level and lacks ideal experience for the next level. Didn?t leave Auburn on great terms and his overall character needs to be addressed.
-- Dane Brugler