SAN DIEGO (BVM) — Tariq Thompson has slowly but surely become one of the most fascinating cornerback prospects. He was picked as an undrafted free agent, and many believe that the Buffalo Bills might just have struck gold with this 6-foot senior.
Thompson played high school football at Saint Augustine High School. He used his size and height to his advantage while he played as a varsity starter for all four years. He helped Saint Augustine win 2 league championships, and a CIF Division One title.
In high school, he was involved on both sides of the ball . He finished his four–year career at St. Augustine with 217 tackles, 11 interceptions for 151 yards, 3 forced fumbles, a sack and two blocked field goals.
Thompson decided to keep his talents in San Diego, as he attended San Diego State for four years. To say he made a splash in his first season in 2017 would be an understatement. He was named All-American and second team All-Mountain West. He finished his first season with 63 tackles, three interceptions, and 13 games played in the season.
In his second season, he again earned second team All-Mountain West, and recorded 60 tackles and two interceptions. He also was recognized on the Pro Football Focus Mountain West Team of The Week.
In this third season, he made the Jim Thorpe Award watch list, and was on the Pro Football Focus Mountain West Team of The Year (first team). He also recorded 50 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries for 48 yards.
In his final season, the COVID-19 pandemic hurt his chances to play, but he still was recognized across the sports world as a unique player with good chances of success in the NFL.
Some in San Diego, and across the sports world, didn’t expect Thompson to go early in the NFL Draft, and many believed he wouldn’t be selected at all. After the NFL Draft was completed, Thompson found that he had not been selected, but was to be picked up as an undrafted free agent. His injuries and overall quickness were key contributors to him not being picked up early in the draft, but his experience and awareness boosted him to the point where many teams considered him to be a potential starter.
After being picked up by the Buffalo Bills after the 2021 NFL Draft, Thompson said on “One Bills Live”, the official Buffalo Bills talk show, that he “couldn’t have come in a better situation.” He was taken by a great offensive team with great chances of playoff success and he will no doubt be a key contributor to that success in the future.