The 2018 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday night, and it will be held in Arlington, Texas. Georgia defensive tackle Trenton Thompson could be an early selection in the draft.
Thompson was a contributor to Georgia’s 2017 defense, as he played in 13 games and made three starts for the Bulldogs at defensive tackle. Below are the five things you need to know about the Georgia defensive tackle:
1. Trenton Thompson made key contributions after earning preseason honors
Thompson was predicted to have a big year in 2017. He was named to the All-SEC preseason first team, as well as numerous preseason watch lists for several awards. While Thompson may not have necessarily lived up to all that hype, he still made some key contributions to Georgia’s defense, which had a strong season. He played in 13 of the Bulldogs’ 15 games, missing a pair due to injury, and totaled 38 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss. He had a team-high six tackles in a win over Appalachian State.
2. Trenton Thompson was All-USA Defensive Player of the Year in high school
Thompson attended Westover Comprehensive High School in Albany, Ga. And during his final season there in 2014, he earned quite an impressive accolade. Thompson was named All-USA Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today, as he excelled in the middle despite often getting double- or triple-teamed by offensive lines. He had 84 tackles, including 36 for a loss and four sacks, one interception and one forced fumble during his senior season.
3. Trenton Thompson received his offer from Georgia when he was a sophomore
Thompson was offered by Georgia early in his high-school career. In fact, the Bulldogs were the first team to give Thompson an offer, when they did so during his sophomore year at Westover. Thompson was heavily recruited by several other top Division I programs, including Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Michigan State, Auburn and USC. He verbally committed to Georgia before his senior season, then signed his letter of intent on National Signing Day in 2015.
4. Trenton Thompson was MVP of the 2016 Liberty Bowl
One of Thompson’s top performances during his three-year career at Georgia came during the 2016 Liberty Bowl at the end of his sophomore season with the Bulldogs. In a 31-23 win over TCU, Thompson set a Liberty Bowl sack record by notching three sacks. He also recorded eight tackles in the victory. Thompson was the first defensive player to win Liberty Bowl MVP since Kentucky’s Ventrell Jenkins in 2008.
5. Trenton Thompson left Georgia when some thought he should have stayed
Thompson opted to enter the NFL draft a year early, deciding not to return to Georgia for his senior season. Although he contributed to the Bulldogs’ defense in 2017, some thought that returning for one more year could have helped Thompson improve his draft stock. He certainly has potential, as evidenced by some of his 2016 games and the preseason accolades he earned in 2017, so another year could have provided him a platform to have a true breakout season. Thompson is projected by many to be drafted somewhere between the second and fifth rounds.