With the 2019 NFL Supplemental Draft quickly approaching (July 10th), the Cardinals are in a prime position to select one or both of the top two prospects: S Jalen Thompson of Washington St. and WR Marcus Simms of West Virginia.
As was the case in the 2019 NFL Draft the Cardinals have the first pick in each round---and if they select a player in the Supplemental Draft, they would be giving up their 2020 NFL Draft pick in the round in which the player was taken.
The way it works is that teams put in their bids---not knowing when and where the player may be available. Thus, players go to the highest bids. It’s not like the regular draft where teams know if the player is on the board in a given round, or not.
S Jalen Thompson, 6-0, 195, Washington St.
* Speedy playmaker
* Thrives in slot
* Would have been the #1 returning Pac 12 slot defender in lowest QB passer rating at 51.5
* Plus #1 returning Pac 12 player in total defensive stops with 21.
* Career numbers: 190 tackles (121 solo), 11.5 tackles for loss, 6 ints., 17 pass breakups, 5 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble.
* 2017 2nd Team Pac-12
* Most accomplished and talented Washington St. safety since Deone Bucannon
* Lacks ideal size
* Over-aggressiveness at times can lead to missed tackles or bites on WR/QB fakes
* Forced early entry due to getting caught taking a banned substance
How Thompson Fits the Cardinals:
* Having him as a nickel option could free up Byron Murphy for other matchups.
* He fits Vance Joseph’s safety mold very well, due to his versatility.
* Would he give the Cardinals more flexibility and playmaking ability than Rudy Ford (currently listed as the #4 safety) and Josh Shaw (currently listed as the #2 nickel)?
How Is Jalen different from Deionte Thompson?
Deionte is best suited to play centerfield in the base and as a cover 2 safety in the nickel. Jalen thrives in man coverage from the slot.
What Round For Cardinals?
4th or 5th.
Worth the pick?
Yes, very much so, depending on what Mike Leach has to say to Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury about Thompson’s character and talent. Per rumors, the Eagles are thinking of using a 3rd or 4th round pick on Jalen. I wouldn’t use the Cardinals’ 3rd rounder, but the 4th rounder feels about right. If Leach is encouraging teams to take Thompson, I do not think he gets out of the 4th round and he could go as high as the 3rd.
Marcus Simms, WR, 6-0, 200, West Virginia
* 4.4 speed
* 36” vertical jump
* While David Sills and Gary Jennings received the most attention at West Virginia, opposing DCs will tell you that Marcus Simms was the big play threat they worried most about.
* Thrived in Air Raid under HC Dana Holgerson and OC Jake Spavital
* Versus Texas Tech this past season: 9/138/15.3/1-td
* Career: 187/1,457/16.1/8-tds
* West Virginia Special Teams Player of the Year in 2017. Punt returns: 17/99/5.8/23--long; Kickoff Returns: 31/816/26.0/80--long; 3 tackles, 1 forced fumble.
* Forced entry to supplemental draft due to academic issues at West Virginia.
* Battled injuries down the stretch last year and surprised coaches when he pulled himself out of the bowl game versus Syracuse due to a sore hamstring.
* Body catcher at times.
* Unrefined route tree.
How Simms Fits the Cardinals:
* He’s an Air Raid WR who puts pressure on coverages due to speed and big-play ability.
* He could be a solid contributor on STs.
* Can beat teams deep up the sideline and make plays from the slot---has RAC ability.
What Round for Cardinals?
5th, 6th or 7th
Worth the Pick?
On talent- and system compatibility--yes. The Cardinals have two 5th rounders because of the Josh Rosen trade and if they like Simms, the 5th round makes sense. Simms had 16 teams scouting him at his recent pro day, including Mike Mayock of the Raiders. Rumors are that the Raiders and Chiefs might be the most interested.
The Cardinals were not one of the 16 teams in attendance---but---as close as Kingsbury is to Dana Holgerson and Jake Spavital---the Cardinals have all the inside info on Simms that they need. Plus, Kingsbury saw first hand how Simms can present significant problems in an Air Raid offense for a defense.
The Cardinals Drafted 3 WRs---Would They Draft Another in the Supplemental Draft?
If the intel they have on Simms is favorable, then the Cardinals could very likely put in a 5th or 6th round bid. The question is whether the Chiefs or Raiders (or other team) will offer a 4th rounder. Simms is an intriguing talent, despite the red flags.
I think the Cardinals will offer a 4th or 5th round pick for Jalen Thompson---and a 5th or 6th round pick for Marcus Simms (if he comes recommended by Holgerson and Spavital---if not---no bid at all).
Interesting that both players come from Air Raid programs---but the most important common denominator? They both have quick feet and big playmaking ability.
What would you do?