He's not the most agile guy, but he makes effective cuts when he needs to. The second unit of the Broncos' offensive line played well, but Thompson still needed the vision to make his rushes count. He looked very smooth hitting holes, even at the speed of the NFL. Some guys who like to play east-west would have tried to bounce that outside and found themselves running into the left tackle. Thompson plants his foot and then shows decent burst to gash the defense for a solid gain. Again, it took two defenders to bring him down.
While the breakaway speed is lacking, the ability to get outside and turn up the field is not an issue for him. The Seahawks defense did a poor job of setting the edge on a couple of plays, which Thompson took full advantage of. He beat the linebackers to the line of scrimmage on the outside, then accelerated up the sidelines for nice chunks of yards.
His physical mentality proved detrimental at one point, however. Heading out of bounds, he was viciously wrestled to the ground after sticking his shoulder into the defender. It was reported Thompson suffered a concussion, but he still returned to the game for one more carry. Even in limited time, the worries that come with his running style were exposed. Even on this play when he gets hurt, he demonstrates that knack for cutting at the precise moment to get up field and seal the defender.
Montee Ball is currently sidelined after his appendectomy and might not play this preseason. The next guy up, C.J. Anderson, suffered a concussion early in the Seattle game. While not ineffective so far, Ronnie Hillman must demonstrate more maturity at the position and refuse to cough up the ball if he's to be trusted this season. Thompson was fourth on this depth chart, but sits at number two because of injuries. If he can remain healthy, he could press for playing time this season. That's how good he looked against Seattle.
Of course, he still has to make the final 53-man roster. Vying for that fourth running back spot are other UDFAs Kapri Bibbs, Brennan Clay, and Jerodis Williams. At this point in time though, it seems Thompson's health is the only thing holding him back from breaking into the Denver running back rotation. As stated earlier, he was a special teams ace at Duke his senior season. When it comes to actual playing time, guys like Ball and Hillman are clearly better pass protectors. Even though Thompson has said he prefers a passing offense, it doesn't mean he's done a ton of blocking. But he sure does look effective taking hand-offs. After watching him play against the defending champs, he looks poised to do some damage if called upon in the regular season.