The Cardinals have been adding to their roster in almost every way possible after a three-win season, but Wednesday they went with a mode they hadn’t used since 1990 when they selected Washington State safety Jalen Thompson in the fifth round of the supplemental draft.
The pick means the Cards will have to surrender a fifth-round pick in the 2020 draft. They had two fifth-rounders after getting an extra one from Miami in the Josh Rosen trade.
The last time the Cards used a pick in the supplemental draft was 1990 when they used a ninth-round pick on LSU tackle Willie Williams. In 1989, they took another Washington State product – quarterback Timm Rosenbach – in the first round of the supplemental draft.
The supplemental draft is for players who, for whatever reason, were not able to enter the April draft but were not going to return to school. In Thompson’s case, he was ruled ineligible for his 2019 senior season for violating NCAA rules. Reportedly, it had to do with taking an over-the-counter supplement from a nutrition store. Instead of redshirting and playing his final season in 2020, Thompson decided to go to the NFL.
Some were predicting a team would use a second- or third-round pick on Thompson. The 6-foot, 190-pounder could also potentially play cornerback. In 39 career games with the Cougars, Thompson had 191 tackles and six interceptions, and had a chance to emerge as the Pac-12’s top safety in his senior season.
The Cardinals had an open spot on the 90-man roster after releasing cornerback David Amerson at the conclusion of offseason workouts.
Thompson joins a secondary that will be missing cornerback Patrick Peterson for the first six games of the regular season because of a suspension. Budda Baker and D.J. Swearinger are slated to start at safety, where the Cardinals also have 2019 April fifth-round pick Deionte Thompson, along with Josh Shaw, Rudy Ford, Jonathan Owens and undrafted rookie Tyler Sigler.
At cornerback, besides Peterson, the Cardinals have Robert Alford, second-round pick Byron Murphy, Tramaine Brock Sr., Chris Jones, Brandon Williams, Deatrick Nichols and undrafted rookie Nate Brooks.
Images of the 11 players selected by the Cardinals in this year's draft