UGA DT Trenton Thompson declares for NFL draft

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa scrambles from Georgia’s Trenton Thompson during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Georgia defensive tackle Trenton Thompson is giving up his final college season to enter the NFL draft.


The junior—the nation’s No. 1 overall player as a recruit when he signed in 2015—will be an intriguing pro prospect even if his production didn’t always match his potential.

Thompson started three games as a junior and tied for ninth on the team with 38 tackles during a season in which he missed two games with a sprained knee ligament.

He had three tackles including a half tackle for loss in the national title game loss to Alabama and finished this season with three and a half tackles for loss and no sacks. Thompson is the first Georgia underclassmen to publicly declare for the draft.

“After long discussion with my family and coaches, I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL draft,” Thompson wrote in an Instagram post. “I would like to thank my family, teammates, Coach (Kirby) Smart and the rest of the staff for all of their support the last 3 years.”

Thompson, from Westover High in Albany, is not in top 10 defensive tackles listed by ESPN’s Mel Kiper. He is the No. 128 player overall and No. 8 defensive tackle by Scouts Inc.

The 6-foot-4, 296-pound Thompson has “first-round talent,” according to Mike Detillier of the M& Draft Report. He called Thompson a “powerful inside player with excellent foot speed and quickness for s big man. Pushes the inside pocket and he is a disruptive nature inside as a run stopper and pass rusher,” but said consistency for him is a question.

Thompson will be asked during the pre-draft process about his medical issues that caused him to withdraw from Georgia in the spring semester. He was hospitalized for what the school said was “an adverse reaction to prescription medication,” but he remained around the program while out of school. That incident followed offseason shoulder surgery and being named MVP of the Liberty Bowl to end a sophomore season in which he had 56 tackles and five sacks.

An Instagram post from Thompson after the regular season indicated he was coming back to Georgia but he said after the Rose Bowl win that was “up in the air” and he needed to talk to his mother before coming to a final decision.

“Coming to Athens was the best decision of my life and the memories and friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime,” he wrote Friday. “Playin in the NFL has been a lifelong dream of mine and I’m excited to see what the future holds. Even though I’m moving on to the next chapter, Georgia will always be home!”