SALT LAKE CITY — Darwin Thompson’s time in Utah was short.
Now, the former Utah State running back is headed to the NFL. Thompson was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft Saturday with the 214th overall pick.
Thompson, a junior college transfer, played one season for Utah State before declaring for the NFL draft. In 2018, he led the Aggies with 1,044 rushing yards while scoring 14 touchdowns on the ground. Thompson was also a threat in the passing game, catching 23 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns.
The 5-foot-8, 200-pounder sees his skills translating well at the next level.
“When I got to Utah State, it was the same offense that the league is really transitioning into — the spread,” Thompson told SB Nation’s Christian D’Andrea. “I think you’ll see a lot more value in the running back position as that gives running backs more running lanes; even more in the NFL with the hashes being so close. Just imagine Barry Sanders in today’s offense. He would kill the game.
“That’s what I plan on doing.”
Historical context: Utah State has had four other running backs drafted since 2012: Robert Turbin (2012, fourth round, Seattle), Michael Smith (2012, seventh round, Tampa Bay), Kerwynn Williams (2013, seventh round, Indianapolis) and Devante Mays (2017, seventh round, Green Bay).1 comment on this story
Measurables: 4.53-second 40-yard dash, 39-inch vertical jump, 126-inch broad jump, 4.3-second short shuttle, 6.93-second 3-cone drill, 23 reps on bench press at Utah State’s Pro Day, according to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler
Scouting Thompson: “Worker-bee running back with a willingness to put the hard-hat on and make his living between the tackles despite a lack of size. Thompson runs with zeal, but his average foot quickness and delayed downhill trigger limits his ability to threaten beyond on the second level,” wrote NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein.