When Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach sees a player he likes, he doesn’t hesitate to go the extra mile to put him in a Chiefs uniform. That was almost the case with former Utah State running back Darwin Thompson, who Veach almost traded up to select in of the NFL Draft before landing him anyway at pick 214 overall in Round 6.
Veach made a move earlier in the draft for former University of Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who the Chiefs moved up five spots to select at pick 56 while sending pick 61 and a fifth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange. He liked Thompson enough to almost make a similar move after selecting cornerback Rashad Fenton of South Carolina at pick 201 in Round 6.
“He’s a really exciting player,” Veach said of Thompson Monday, per Chiefs.com. “We had him higher on that value board and when he fell there in the sixth round, [we took him]. Actually, when we took Fenton, I was trying to make some moves to get back up there and get [Thompson] because I didn’t want to lose him three or four selections before we picked. I called every team right after we took Fenton to go right back up and get this Thompson kid. We couldn’t reach a deal, but as we were kind of doing the review of the teams picking just ahead of us…and all these teams had taken a running back earlier in the draft, so I was like, ‘These teams went running back earlier, I think we might be OK here.’”
We’ve already heard a bit from Chiefs scouts on their Day 3 draft picks, but now Brett Veach has weighed in. Area scout Trey Koziol revealed that he doesn’t have an exact comparison that he’d scouted for Chiefs new RB Darwin Thompson. Koziol said that he did remind him a bit of Falcons RB Devonta Freeman, but he was hard-pressed to commit to that comparison.
During Veach’s post-draft teleconference, he revealed a comparison for Thompson that he finds fitting. Thompson reminds Veach of Dion Lewis, though, there is one crucial difference.The Kansas City Chiefs have selected former Utah State running back Darwin Thompson with the 214th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Thompson (5-8, 200) was a second-team All-Mountain West selection in 2018 with 1,044 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns along with 23 catches for 351 yards and two touchdowns. A junior college transfer from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Thompson decided to leave Utah State for the draft after one season. At his Pro Day, Thompson was clocked at 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash with a 39-inch vertical jump, a 126-inch broad jump, a 6.93-second 3-cone drill, and 23 bench press reps of 225 pounds.
The selection is the second in Day 3 for the Chiefs. Here’s a look at the other selections they’ve made so far.In Thompson, the Chiefs drafted a somewhat different type of back than they have with Carlos Hyde, Damien Williams and Darrell Williams, who are all at least 5-11 and over 220 pounds. Thompson checks in at just 5-8, 200 but is also very muscular, which gives him a unique look that makes it hard to compare him to anyone, according to national scout Trey Koziol.
“You want to think he’s a scatback, but he’s so powerful in that build that he really does have strength,” Koziol said Saturday. “So, it’s kind of a rare dynamic. I haven’t done a whole lot of guys out west that I could give you an honest comp and say, ‘Hey, when I looked at him on film he was this guy,’ because not a lot of guys are built that way. It’s kind of a unique build.”
Veach found his own comparison for Thompson — Tennessee Titans running back Dion Lewis.
“He has a little Dion Lewis in him,” Veach said. “Dion is a guy that has similar stature. He might be a little bit more stout than Dion, but both guys are tough runners for their size. Even though they’re small, they can do a lot of different things.”