While players were making their professional decisions, we had a series of conversations off-line re: what to do about Deionte Thompson. He is a mid-/late-first round talent, to be sure. And ordinarily you encourage those guys to get the paper. But his situation comes with two caveats, though. The first is that his play slipped in the last few weeks of the season: he didn’t exactly enter the deadline date with a stellar track record against OU and Clemson. The second was Thompson’s aggravated assault charge.
I maintained that he could make a lot more money by staying at Alabama for his senior season, where he would be a Top 10 pick — definitely the first safety off the board — in 2020. That would also sell to a Galveston judge that the structure of the program and strict ‘Bama oversight would be of greater benefit to Thompson than a DA trying to get a quick-kill prosecution based upon some dubious eyewitness testimony.
Both of those are moot points now, with word that aggravated assault charges against DT14 have been dropped.
Deionte Thompson no longer has to worry about his legal situation that had been ongoing since early 2017.
The aggravated assault charge against the former Alabama safety was dismissed Tuesday morning, his father Vester told AL.com.
Thompson, who was arrested in April 2017 and later indicted on one count of felony aggravated assault, was accused of kicking Noah Frillou in the head while Frillou was on the ground during a spring break brawl in Crystal Beach, Texas March 18, 2017.
Hey! Just in time for the Combine too. No, that really is good news. It always seemed wrong place-wrong crowd-wrong time for Thompson. While GMs will undoubtedly still rake him over the coals for his judgment and associates (Rolando McClain, anyone?), a pending criminal charge no longer hangs over his draft status, potentially costing him millions (La’el Collins, anyone?) But will it hurt his draft stock? Most don’t think so. Then again, Randy Moss and Laremy Tunsil’s weed habits cost them a ton too, so don’t rule out risk-aversion of NFL GMs.
Finally, it would be remiss if we did not point out that there is very much still the possibility that a civil case will be filed by the victim here. Thompson was present, and that’s not disputed. His role has not been fully ascertained, but there was certainly enough probable cause to arrest him and to bring charges: that means cops, a DA, and a judge all agreed there was enough smoke here to suspect a fire. The much lower burden of persuasion in civil court could cost him some cash. Since Thompson is about to be rich by any measure, any lawyer worth their license will go after some of it. (And I very much suspect they’ll get a nuisance settlement at any rate.)
So, best of luck, Deionte...and be smarter going forward.