The Tennessee Titans took TE/DE Taylor Thompson with their 5th round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, though they had to trade next years 7th rounder to move up a couple spots to get him.
I had so many mixed emotions when he was selected, such as “Why in God’s green earth did they just draft a DE to play TE?!” or “What position does this guy actually play?” As the dust settles from the draft and the rookies report for camp, I find myself growing slightly less angered and perhaps, even if just a little, optimistic.
Thompson was a stand-out TE in high school and with a 6’6 frame carrying 259 lbs, he’s got the potential to be something special. Even more so when you add in the fact that Thompson has speed.
A few days ago Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean wrote about how impressed he’s been with the first looks he’s gotten of Thompson during rookie camp.
I’ll get a better feel for him when the pads come on and defenders can jostle him a bit.
But I was impressed with his athleticism during a brief look on Friday. Thompson caught the ball well, and he can run. He’s tall (6-6) but at 259 pounds he’s well-built.
Linebacker Zach Brown, the second-round pick, was also impressed. Of the overall rookie class he said: “One thing you notice is they all have speed. And the tight end, that big boy can run and he is long. That is a disadvantage to the linebackers. Just seeing him, I was thinking, ‘Man, he’s pretty fluid. He’s not bad.’ ”
Like Jim says at the beginning there, we’ll be able to better understand just how far Thompson has to grow once we see him in pads and in scrimmage. But for now we just have to go off what we’ve got, and there’s promise thus far.
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