Thompson's work as a pass blocker has caught the attention of coach Andy Reid, ESPN.com's Adam Teicher reports. "[Thompson]'s able to see the blitz, which is a big thing for the young guys,'' Reid said. "He's got good vision in the run game and then he's got a pretty good understanding of the pass game."
The rookie sixth-round pick also has looked good with the ball in his hands, taking nine carries for 52 yards and scoring a 29-yard touchdown on his lone reception through the first two weeks of the preseason. Meanwhile, Carlos Hyde has a 7-25-1 rushing line with one lost fumble and no catches. Damien Williams is locked in atop the depth chart, but Thompson has at least made a strong case to share backup work with Hyde. The competent work as a pass blocker could go a long way toward earning regular-season snaps.
Thompson rushed four times for 30 yards, failed to bring in his only target and returned one kickoff for 22 yards in the Chiefs' 17-7 preseason loss to the Steelers on Saturday.
The rookie had been gaining momentum at practice in recent days, spending time with the first-team offense after making an impact with 51 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the exhibition opener versus the Bengals last Saturday. Thompson couldn't find the end zone against Pittsburgh, but he was impressive while averaging 7.5 yards on his four totes. The Chiefs' backup running back job battle is a spirited one, yet Thompson appears to increasingly be gaining a foothold with his first pair of preseason performances.
Thompson has seen increased reps with the first-team offense in recent days, Nate Taylor of The Athletic reports.
During Taylor's breakdown of Thompson, he notes that, despite his 5-foot-8 stature, the running back is built to handle the wear of the NFL. He has performed well in pass protection and finished his preseason debut with 51 yards and a touchdown on six touches last Saturday against the Bengals. Thompson is in the thick of a battle for reps behind starter Damien Williams, competing with Carlos Hyde and Darrel Williams for playing time.
Thompson carried the ball five times for 22 yards against the Bengals in the team's first preseason contest Saturday. He also added one reception for 29 yards a touchdown.
Thompson led the team with five carries and had a few noteworthy runs, one of which he broke through several tackles to gain more yardage. However, the highlight of his night came on a slant pass over the middle as he outraced several Bengals defenders for a 29-yard score. Thompson certainly took advantage of the opportunities he received and should continue to push for more touches out of the backfield, especially so long as Damien Williams (hamstring) is sidelined.
Thompson is among the running backs vying for backup duties behind projected starter Damien Williams (hamstring), Nate Taylor of The Athletic reports.
Thompson has received some sleeper hype this offseason, but in order for him to even slide into the No. 2 role, he would need to outperform Carlos Hyde and Darrel Williams, who were both listed ahead of him on the Chiefs' initial unofficial depth chart. The rookie out of Utah State hauled in 23 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 153 carries for 1,044 yards and 14 scores in his final season of college.
The Chiefs selected Thompson in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, 214th overall.
Thompson (5-foot-8, 198 pounds) is a bit undersized but runs with a standout motor and offers a three-down skill set otherwise. As much as his pro day numbers were problematic (4.55-second 40, 11.23 agility score), Thompson looks quick and explosive on tape, and he salvaged his pro day somewhat by posting strong numbers in the vertical (39 inches) and broad jump (126 inches). Thompson played just one season at Utah State as a junior college transfer, but he torched the Mountain West to the tune of 1,044 yards (6.8 YPC) and 14 touchdowns while adding 23 receptions for 351 yards and two touchdowns on just 30 targets. Carlos Hyde is the established backup to Damien Williams at the moment, but there's a non-zero chance that Thompson closes that gap if he can make the team. Thompson is clearly a better pass catcher than Hyde.
|2019||Kansas City Chiefs||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2019||Kansas City Chiefs||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|