Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: Darwin Thompson, RB KC

Dwight Peebles

Name: Darwin Thompson

Position: Running Back

Pro Team: Kansas City Chiefs

College Team: Utah State Aggies

Draft Status: Sixth round, 214th overall



  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 195 pounds
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.50 seconds
  • Bench press: 23 reps
  • Vertical Jump: 39”
  • Broad Jump: 126”
  • 3-Cone Drill: 6.93 seconds
  • 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.30 seconds
  • 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


  • Runs between tackles well despite small size
  • Stays low to the ground and maintains pad level
  • Good power in his base and can hit smaller players hard
  • Cuts well without changing speed
  • Runs route and catches passes – needs a little work though
  • Nose for the end zone – 16 scores on 176 touches in 2018
  • Solid contact balance – doesn’t go down on the first hit often
  • Exciting, quick runner. Runs with fury and fun to watch


  • Not smooth transition to different speeds – always one speed
  • Burst and acceleration are average – not overly ‘quick’
  • No patience – doesn’t process traffic well
  • Not enough speed to hit the edge – gets caught from behind on next level
  • Only year of in FBS (JUCO transfer)


Thompson rushed for over 2,400 yards and 17 touchdowns at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M over two seasons before transferring to Utah State for his junior season. His impact was felt immediately, as he ran for 1,044 yards and 14 scores over nine starts, also catching 23 passes for 351 yards and two additional scores. He opted to forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft but was not invited to the Scouting Combine.

The posted times from above were from the Utah State pro day where he had a solid showing. Thompson’s bench press at his size was impressive, his jumps would have placed him in the top tier at the combine, and the three-cone time would have been second best. The 40-yard time was unofficial, yet would have had him in the top half of those tested.

The Chiefs called Thompson’s name on the third day of the draft. He arrives in KC as another weapon for one of the most explosive offenses in recent history. Where he fits in will be seen but he has the skill-set to be a dangerous third-down weapon and could spell a starter at times.


The backfield has a bunch of weapons and the path to a big role will be muddled. Damien Williams is the starter and veteran Carlos Hyde was acquired to back up Williams.

There are two other Williams’s to contend with as well, Darrel Williams and James Williams. James is another rookie who KC signed after the draft and has a skill set which could pigeon-hole him into the role which Thompson would also fit well. Both create plays catching out of the backfield – though James Williams was one of the best receiving backs in college football. Thompson has a tough road to being relevant both as an NFL and fantasy asset.


2019 will be dominated by the veteran backs and Thompson will barely see the field barring injuries. Andy Reid may find a way to work him in to see what he has – in small doses. Thompson is versatile enough to get some early work due to his tough inside running but he does have the pass-catching ability. The Chiefs may use his versatility to get him involved without sticking him in only on third downs.

Working with Reid, Thompson could prove to be another valuable tool for the KC offense. The stat line I project for year one is 75 total touches for 350 yards and three touchdowns.


Thompson will work his way towards more touches but long-term expectations should still be tempered.

Reid and the coaching staff saw things they liked in Thompson. Despite detractions and questions about the talent he faced, Thompson looked electric in college and always gained yards and found the end zone. Over the next few seasons, he will see his role increase and the Chiefs offense will find ways to get him involved.

However, taking on a full-time role or a role in which he sees 200-plus carries is highly unlikely. The ceiling is more in the 150-touch range with 700 yards and a handful of touchdowns – and this is generous. Thompson is a player I really liked going into the process but due to his size and limitations with burst and acceleration, I have tempered my long-term outlook on his role in the NFL.


In terms of size and overall game, Darren Sproles is a good comparison. Thompson doesn’t have the elite speed of Sproles, but the toughness and ability as an inside runner as well as a weapon to use in many situations are uncanny. Sproles was a better inside runner than many expected and always created mismatches when he was used in games. I could see Thompson evolving into this type of weapon and Reid will find a way to use him best in the Chiefs’ dangerous offense.


According to our Rookie ADP, Thompson is currently 36.9 on average in May rookie mock drafts. He is currently the 12th running back drafted on average during rookie drafts. Taking Thompson in the third round of a draft seems like a good gamble, being on such a prolific offense is enticing and the coaching staff knows how to get the best out of players. It will take some time but patience when drafting Thompson could be rewarding.

dwight peebles
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