Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Ravens draft South Carolina State safety Christian Thompson

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens drafted South Carolina State safety Christian Thompson in the fourth round.

He's had an excellent role model to advise him: Ravens Pro Bowl free safety Ed Reed.

The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year has been offering guidance and tips to Thompson about what to expect as he makes the transition to the NFL.

The 6-foot, 211-pounder is graded as the fifth-ranked free safety.

Thompson has run the 40-yard dash in 4.50 seconds, bench pressing 225 pounds 18 times with a 31 1/2 inch vertical leap, a 10-2 broad jump, a 4.13 20-yard shuttle and a 7.3 three-cone drill.

A transfer from Auburn, Thompson earned all-conference honors last season as he recorded 66 tackles and two interceptions.

As a junior, he had 46 tackles with one interception and seven pass deflections.

Thompson has been scheduled for several visits and workouts with NFL teams. He met with the Oakland Raiders at the NFL scouting combine.

We caught up with Thompson before the draft for following interview:

How's the draft process going?

Thompson: "I'm taking it in stride and enjoying every moment of it. I've been getting good feedback from teams. Everything has been looking up. I don't know what round I'll go in, but whatever happens I'm going to work hard and be happy."

What kind of things do the teams tell you they like about you?

Thompson: "My feet, I'm an aggressive tackler. I've got good body control for my size."

How would you describe your mentality for the game?

Thompson: "It's a contact sport. You can knock somebody out and get away with it. That's the most fun part of the game, you get to hit people."

What kind of character do you bring to the NFL?

Thompson: "I see myself as a great citizen to society. I like to interact with people, especially with children. I love kids. In the locker room, I'm somebody who one day I will be a leader on the field and not just somebody who's rah-rah. I'm going to be someone who does less talking and try to perform and show my leadership skills on the field."

How ready do you feel for the NFL?

Thompson: "I feel like I'm ready right now. You can put some pads on me and I can go right now. I'm in good shape. I'm healthy."

How much did Johnny Culbreath getting drafted by the Detroit Lions help raise awareness about your school's football program?

Thompson: "That helped a lot. Seeing his name go across that screen gave us all hope for the rest of the program. It shows you can come from a smaller school and still make it. It's been the driving force for our program, including myself."