The Tennessee Titans drafted TE Taylor Thompson in the fifth round of the draft earlier this year, having comparisons to the New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski. They took him understanding that he was a raw player who’ll take time to be molded into the guy they hope he can be.
If this season has shown us anything so far, it’s that he’s a project.
That being said, he’s shown some promise in one area specifically; blocking.
As John Glennon of The Tennessean noted in his article earlier this week, Thompson actually had more snap counts this past week than Jared Cook, having 24 compared to Cook’s 23. Obviously the passing part of the game is a work in progress right now. Through 10 games, Thompson has only seen seven targets, three of which he has caught for for a total of 17 yards.
His blocking is good, which is obviously a good start. I think the areas that he needs the most growth in are learning his routes and being able to run them well. Not having played a TE since high school has made things a little difficult. He has hands according to all the coaches. It’s just a matter of getting settled back into the role of being a TE.
It’s impossible to guess how fast any player will grow when they transition to the NFL. All we can do is wait, watch, and see how things go for Thompson.
One thing to keep an eye on is the Titans and Jared Cook. Cook’s contract talks seem to have died off. They should pick back up after the season ends, but if they don’t, or don’t do so on a serious note, you’ve got to be thinking the Titans see something special in Thompson. That being said, I want Cook back.
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart