Getting To Know Skylar Thompson
Two weeks ago, Minnesota Vikings fans were dreading their October 16 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. The high-flying Dolphins had just upset the Buffalo Bills, who were regarded by many as the best team in the NFL. Minnesota, meanwhile, had just escaped U.S. Bank Stadium with an ugly come-from-behind win against the Detroit Lions.
Fast forward to now, and the 3-2 Dolphins are riding a two-game losing streak into their Week 6 showdown with the 4-1 Vikings. Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is still recovering from a brutal concussion suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals. Backup Teddy Bridgewater, the popular former Vikings quarterback, left Sunday’s loss against the New York Jets early in the first quarter after suffering a concussion of his own.
In came rookie Skylar Thompson, the former Kansas State Wildcat. He was the 247th overall pick in the draft, and God bless him, he played like it in his first NFL action. Thompson only had 90 passing yards heading into the final drive of the game, adding 76 in garbage time. He tossed one interception and lost a fumble.
As of right now, Teddy’s availability for Sunday’s game is still up in the air. On Monday, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said that Bridgewater wasn’t experiencing any concussion symptoms, although he added that Bridgewater wasn’t experiencing symptoms Sunday either. In the aftermath of Tua’s concussion, the Dolphins are proceeding with extra caution regarding head injuries.
With that in mind, we should get to know Thompson as there is a chance many fans will be seeing him play for the first time on Sunday. The former Wildcat stands 6’2″, 223 pounds, but despite his 4.91-forty speed, he possesses some dual-threat ability. At Kansas State, he tossed 42 touchdowns as well as running in 26 more. He only threw 16 interceptions in five seasons.
Although not highly touted coming out of college, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com still had some positive things to say about Thompson. Here is a list of Thompson’s strengths according to Zierlein:
-Shows ability to work through progressions.
-Reads coverage on combo routes with timing.
-Resets feet on the move to deliver from his platform.
-Arm talent to make rollout and scramble throws with success.
-Delivers deep ball with adequate touch.
-Maneuvers around the pocket and locates his target.
-Won’t take many unnecessary chances with the football.
Of course, being a late-round prospect, Thompson had many flaws as well. According to Zierlein:
-Will be a 25-year-old rookie.
-Very average passing production over his 40 starts.
-Below-average accuracy on drive throws.
-Over-strides and sails the throw.
-Forces receivers to break stride and work for it.
-Throws need to come out with better anticipation.
-Fails to fully explore passing options when he hits the red zone.
-Missed chunks of time due to upper body, knee and ankle injuries since 2020.
This is the scouting report you’d expect to see from a seventh-round rookie. Thompson is limited physically but will be prepared mentally. With this said, the Dolphins’ speedy wideouts could be contained just by the nature of a trimmed-down playbook on Sunday.
McDaniel isn’t ready to rule Bridgewater out quite yet. Teddy could be cleared to return on Thursday, setting up for his second career start against the team that drafted him. But after his debut on Sunday, Thompson knows he could wind up under center at any time against the Vikings this week.