Jalen Thompson
No. 34 – Arizona Cardinals
Personal information
Born: (1998-07-18) July 18, 1998 (age 23)
Paramount, California
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Downey (CA)
College:Washington State
Supplemental draft:2019 / Round: 5
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2020
Total tackles:74
Forced fumbles:0
Fumble recoveries:1
Passes deflected:4
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Jalen Thompson (born July 18, 1998) is an American football safety for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Washington State.

Early life and high school

Thompson was born in Paramount, California and grew up in Downey, California. He originally attended La Serna High School where he was named honorable mention All-San Gabriel Valley League as a sophomore as the Lancers went on to win the 2013 CIF Southern Section title. He transferred to Downey High School following his sophomore year where he played both wide receiver and cornerback and was named All-CIF and All-San Gabriel Valley League in his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, Thompson intercepted five passed and averaged 20.2 yards per reception and was named to the All-Area Dream Team by the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Thompson was rated a three-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals and Scout and the No. 56 cornerback nationally by ESPN.com.[1] He ultimately committed to play college football at Washington State over offers from San Diego State, New Mexico State, Army, and Navy.[2]

College career

Thompson entered Washington State as an early enrollee and participated in the Cougars' spring practices.[3] He was named the starting strong safety entering the season and was named a True Freshman All-American by ESPN after recording 51 tackles and a team-leading seven pass breakups in 13 games.[4] As a sophomore, Thompson led the Cougars with 73 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, two pass breakups and four interceptions (T-3rd in the Pac-12) and lead the conference with three fumble recoveries and was named second team All-Pac-12 Conference and first team all-conference by the Associated Press.[5] Thompson entered his junior season on the Chuck Bednarik Award watchlist and recorded 67 tackles (4th on the team) along with two interceptions and eight passes broken up and was named honorable mention all-conference. Thompson lost his final season of eligibility due to a violation of NCAA rules going into his senior season, which was reportedly due to purchasing a non-steroid over-the-counter supplement that is banned by the NCAA.[6][7] Over the course of his collegiate career, Thompson started all 39 of Washington State's games while on the team and finished with 191 tackles with six interceptions and 17 passes broken up.[8]

Professional career

After being declared ineligible for his final season at Washington State, Thompson entered the 2019 NFL Supplemental Draft.[9] He was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round of the supplemental draft and was the only player selected.[10] He signed a four-year contract with the Cardinals on July 17, 2019.[11]

Thompson made his NFL debut on September 8, 2019 against the Detroit Lions, playing seven snaps on special teams.[12] He made his first career start on October 6, 2019 against the Cincinnati Bengals, making eight tackles in a 26-23 win.[13] Thompson recorded his first career interception on November 17, 2019, picking off a pass from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the fourth quarter of a 36-26 loss.[14] He finished his rookie season with 57 tackles, three passes defended and an interception in 15 games played, starting nine of the Cardinals final 12 games.[15]

Thompson entered the 2020 season as the Cardinals starting strong safety. He suffered an ankle injury in Week 1 and was placed on injured reserve on September 17, 2020.[16] He was activated on November 4.[17]


  1. ^ Loh, Stephanie (January 11, 2016). "WSU Cougars football adds four early enrollees to roster". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Pollevoi, Aaron (June 5, 2015). "WSU football recruiting: Three-star athlete Jalen Thompson gives verbal to Wazzu". CougCenter.com. SB Nation. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Loh, Stephanie (March 31, 2016). "Freshman Jalen Thompson looking strong at safety for WSU Cougars". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Luginbill, Tom (Dec 12, 2016). "Alabama QB Jalen Hurts leads true freshman All-America team". ABCNews.go.com. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Lawson, Theo (Jul 16, 2018). "Washington State safety Jalen Thompson added to Bednarik Award watch list". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  6. ^ "WSU safety Thompson loses final year of eligibility". ESPN.com. July 1, 2019.
  7. ^ Zimmerman, Kevin (July 10, 2019). "Report: Cardinals take WSU's Jalen Thompson in NFL supplemental draft". ArizonaSports.com.
  8. ^ "Cougar football's defense takes blow, loses Thompson over NCAA rules". Lewiston Morning Tribune. June 29, 2019. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  9. ^ Smith, Michael David (June 29, 2019). "Report: Washington State's Jalen Thompson enters supplemental draft". Profootballtalk.com. NBC Sports. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  10. ^ Urban, Darren (July 10, 2019). "Cardinals Select Safety Jalen Thompson In Supplemental Draft". AZCardinals.com.
  11. ^ Urban, Darren (July 17, 2019). "Cardinals Agree To Jalen Thompson Deal, Cut Desmond Harrison". AZCardinals.com.
  12. ^ Cox, Seth (September 12, 2019). "Arizona Cardinals week one defensive and special teams snap counts". RevengeOfTheBirds.com. SB Nation. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  13. ^ Schmidt, Rheanna (October 6, 2019). "Did the Cardinals solve the problem in their secondary?". SI.com. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  14. ^ Root, Jess (November 17, 2019). "WATCH: All the highlights from Cardinals' 36-26 loss to the 49ers". Cards Wire. USA Today. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  15. ^ "Cardinals' Jalen Thompson: Racks up 57 tackles in 2019". CBSSports.com. RotoWire. January 15, 2020. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  16. ^ "Jalen Thompson Placed On IR; Cards Sign Curtis Riley". AZCardinals.com. September 17, 2020.
  17. ^ Urban, Darren (November 4, 2020). "Jalen Thompson Moved From IR To Active Roster". AZCardinals.com. Retrieved December 2, 2020.