Thompson shouldn’t concern himself too much with the ladder of these three names, as Stifler will likely be his main contender this fall.
Thompson was one of the oldest and most experienced quarterbacks in the 2022 draft class. He watched his first game in 2017, then became a de facto player at Kansas State for the next four seasons.
Thompson was nothing if not fruitful as he finished his college career with 7,214 passing yards, 1,087 rushing yards, 42 touchdown passes, 26 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
However, statistics are only part of the puzzle when evaluating expectations. We’ve decided to dive into some of the Kansas All-22’s to decode how Thompson can help the dolphins this season and into the future.
As the quarterback in the seventh round, Thompson has a lot of problems he needs to solve in his game. With that said, there are also plays like the clip above where he flashes enough skill to be a viable NFL backup.
The play above stands out in particular because it’s a 40-yard throw across the field for a pinpoint precision landing. Thompson doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world, and that really limits him, but when he’s able to stand on his own two feet, he can execute a few hits on the court.
Like nearly every quarterback, Thompson thrives on fake action games. This is an important box to check for someone playing under new Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel, who runs a Shanahan-inspired attack focused on play concepts.
The other box the Shanahan quarterback needs to check is his quick game prowess, and this is where Thompson is most accurate. He does a good job of getting the ball into playmakers’ hands quickly, allowing them to gain easy yards after being caught.
Another notable feature of Thompson’s film was his ability to move. He’s not a jammer, a quarterback who will burn defenses on a determined run, per se, but he has enough functional mobility.
The above play is a good example of what that looks like. Thompson is pressed early after the snap but has the athletic ability to slide to his left, go up in the pocket, then deliver a bullet to complete and then go down first.
Thompson’s running ability should be an asset the Dolphins have in some short-term situations if he has to play this season. Kansas State used it a lot in goal-line, fourth and short positions, which is something Miami should do as well.
Both Thompson’s ability to move and his ability to throw under pressure set the box and when combined with flashes of field situation, short game prowess and experience, it made sense for Miami to put a shot at him in the seventh round.
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The reason Thompson was drafted in the seventh round and not above is for one simple reason – he’s inaccurate. Thompson’s career completion percentage of 62.5 isn’t too bad, but the completion percentage is an incredibly flawed statistic.
Not all throws are created equal, and Thompson’s accuracy drops dramatically the more he pushes the ball down the court. It didn’t produce many turnovers while at Kansas State, but the NFL would have had much better players.
The throw above is a good example of how a simple mistake can lead to artificial intelligence. The receiver let the ball pass through his hands, but that’s an easy throw for any NFL quarterback, and Thompson has sailed quite a bit.
Football is a game of inches and the NFL quarterbacks have to make that throw right on the goal, which Thompson doesn’t do now.
Another aspect of accuracy is placement. Placement is the judgment of whether the midfielder places the soccer ball on the correct shoulder of the receiver or whether the midfielder throws the touch appropriately.
Thompson’s position in the short area of the field is acceptable for an NFL quarterback. However, just like his general accuracy, his mode begins to fluctuate in longer throws. Playing above is a prime example of how poor posture can limit a midfielder’s effectiveness.
Watch the receiver at the top of the screen that runs through the dig. Thompson takes a while to get through his lead, so the receiver ends up crossing the entire field while it’s wide open. Thompson eventually finds it, but his throw forces the receiver to slide to the ground.
If Thompson had thrown that ball over the receiver’s other shoulder, that would have allowed him to get back on his feet, turn, and catch more yards. Thompson’s poor posture in pitches forces the offense to leave a lot of meat on the bone.
The final limitation to note with Thompson is his arm strength. He has flashes of high-quality arm strength, like the first play in this article, but there are many throws that are similar to the ones above.
The Kansas State man runs backwards on the road of a wheel in this play, and is open to what could be a potential downside. Thompson can’t get the ball there. He needed to put more arc on him and drop him over the top, but instead the ball died on him a few yards early.
There are a lot of bad passes for the Thompson movie that make the life of his receivers a lot tougher than it has to be. Thompson’s arm strength isn’t too bad, but it’s definitely not strength in his game either.
Thompson has a few traits that translate well into the Miami plot like short game accuracy, navigation, and experience running off-center gameplay and movement concepts. However, the limited accuracy, position and arm strength of Thompson could force him to remain the third quarterback for most of his career except for a major improvement.