Miami Dolphins preview: Cedric Thompson
Before we start looking into the characteristics that make up Cedric Thompson, I wanted to take a moment and step away from the NFL and the Miami Dolphins. First of all, if you haven’t researched Cedric Thompson, you should. Honestly, do it right now. I was shocked and amazed about the stories surrounding this young man and his fight to continue his football career. Growing up in an abandoned city, fighting street thugs to get on buses so that he could just get to school, overcoming his friends and family being trapped inside drugs and the list goes on.
“I grew up seeing violence in my house. I watched my mom and dad get divorced. People around me were using drugs. I saw my friends and cousins get shot, get killed. Before I went to college, I thought that was the norm, that’s how the world was. And then I went to Minnesota for college, which was a complete culture shock. For the first time, I could walk down the street without looking behind my back.
In today’s NFL, there is a stigmatism that surrounds the players and the lavish lifestyle that they are living. The new HBO Show Ballers portrays a Hollywood lifestyle theme of what actually happens in Miami and what the players go through. Miami is one of the best cities in the United States and there is a chance that players can get into trouble, especially with a NFL paycheck supporting their cause. Without the proper guidance and mentoring, young rookies could potentially forget what they are playing for.
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With all that in my mind, it refreshing to hear and read about a player ignoring all the outside factors and taking the initiative to build himself up so that he doesn’t have to go back to his childhood home. Thompson wrote an online blog that he shared with everyone during the NFL rookie symposium. The notes and lesson he learned during the conference was a delightful read for a person that grew up in that environment. I am sure his words have inspired many Miami Dolphin fans, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing the impact he has on the field.
I want the Dolphins organization, the fans and my teammates to know that I am going to do everything I can to help the team win games. And I will do everything I can for this team, for this family. I believe that relationships are something that will last a lifetime. I’ll always have the backs of those guys in the locker room, today and 20 years down the line. I’m a rookie, I’m observing and I have some great vets to learn from. And I’m going to work my butt off, on and off the field, no matter what. I’m going to give this team all that I have
Switching the attention from character to skill, the Miami Dolphins don’t really know what they have in Thompson. Thompson physical traits are off the charts, he is a workout warrior. A solid 4.4 to 4.5 40 time, a ridiculous vertical jump over 40 and a solid bench of 23 reps. Thompson looks like he is ready for the NFL game.
On the field, he plays well. While studying his tape, he didn’t show any big game changing ability. To be honest, I am not sure if it is his lack of ability or instinct or fear. There really isn’t that much game tape that I can find on him, but as of right now, he reminds me a lot of Chris Clemons.
Thompson best asset is his speed. He plays extremely well in Cover 1 and is solid dropping into the box to play the shadow. His zone coverage needs help. This is where his instinct need to step up. There were a few plays that he could have made, but stayed in his zone rather than break. Coaching might be able to resolve this, but at one point Thompson needs to trust himself.
Thompson has all the physical traits to play this game and play it well. It is now up to him to learn, study and adapt to the NFL. As a rookie, Thompson must make a presence on Special Teams and perform well in preseason to ensure a roster spot.
Thompson is presenting himself as a young prospect that is hungry to learn this game and make a difference on the field, which is why I believe he will succeed in the NFL. He must learn to trust himself and perhaps the mentor role that he has been lacking his career will entice him to make that leap. Kevin Coyle, Delmas and Jones will play a special role in the development of this prospect, and if the light comes on, the Miami Dolphins have found another 5th round steal.
Projected 2015-16 Stats:
Special team’s role.