Photo of Chris Thompson
Drafted By: Redskins

Combine Results

Grade
52.0 ?
  • 21 REPS
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"After a great high school career, Thompson struggled with injuries at Florida State. He's very explosive and a good receiver; he's got a small frame but can return kicks." -- Gil Brandt

  • 5'7" Height
  • 30 1/4" Arm Length
  • 192LBS. Weight
  • 9 1/4" Hands

Overview

In early October of 2011, it looked as though Thompson’s football career could be over. After struggling with back pain in the spring and fall camp, he took a hit that broke two vertebrae in his back. But he rehabbed diligently over the next several months, somehow making his way back to the field for the start of the 2012 season. That sort of toughness, added to his sprinter’s speed, makes Thompson a potential late-round pick as a change of pace back and return specialist in the NFL – if he stays healthy.

Thompson was considered one of the top all-purpose players in the country coming out of Florida’s Madison County High School, rushing for over 2,300 yards and 33 touchdowns while leading his team to a state title as a senior. He got on the field right away for the Seminoles, playing 11 games (23-120, two TD rush, 6-150 on kick returns), missing two due to a death in the family. Thompson started six of 14 games in 2010, leading the team in rushing (134-845, 6 TD rushing; 19-155, TD receiving) and earning the team’s Chick-fil-A Bowl MVP award with 25 rushes for 147 yards and a touchdown in the win over South Carolina.

Analysis

Strengths

Dangerous runner/receiver combination in the backfield able to make the big play. Comfortable behind a fullback in I-formation, follows off tackle the cuts back inside. Capable swing pass receiver, looks the catch into hands, and utilizes a quick move to make a tackler miss in space. Definitely at his bets in the open field. Makes things happen if untouched at the second level, open footwork and makes tacklers miss with nice burst. Very patient on screen passes but tends to drift to the sideline. If the lane is there, he is a very decisive runner. Gives good effort when attempting to pickup blitzer, dives at inside leg.

Weaknesses

Lacks the size to be a bellcow NFL back, and has had problems staying healthy. Carries the ball in the wrong arm too often. First contact usually brings him down, loses footing and upended. Will not always get back to the line of scrimmage when contacted in the backfield. Small and lean frame. Can attempt too many moves in space. Runs like a receiver, striding instead of being efficient with his footwork. Can’t sustain in pass protection or mirror. Takes some really big hits, could be due to his upright stance. Has the most problems when initial line is stopped at the line of scrimmage. Has difficulties creating without some space first.

NFL Comparison

Antone Smith

Bottom Line

Two broken vertebrae in his back wasn’t enough to keep Thompson from coming back for his senior year. The diminutive but speedy back led the Seminoles in rushing in 2010 (845 yards, six touchdowns, also 19-155, TD receiving), but struggled with his back throughout his junior season even before suffering the major injury against Wake Forest. If he proves himself healthy enough to take hits after breaking off big runs using his track speed and elusiveness, however, teams will value him as a mid-to-late round chance of pace back with return potential.
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Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.

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