Thompson was a known dual-threat quarterback at the college level, something that will translate well to the next level. While he is not a game-changer athletically, he is able to pick up rushing yards or extend the play.
In 2019, Thompson was fourth in the Big 12 Conference with 11 rushing touchdowns, while he had 26 total rushing touchdowns in his career. His injury history limited his rushing attempts in 2020 and 2021, but Thompson can still move.
Next, Thompson has the arm strength for quick throws in the short and medium passing game. He leads receivers to open pockets in zone coverage, recognizing placement during the play. In 2019’s thrilling upset over the Oklahoma Sooners, Thompson had a masterful game. One play that stands out is a 2nd & 17 conversion throw to tight end Sammy Wheeler, where Thompson fit the ball between three defenders on the boundary. Those are the types of throws NFL-level quarterbacks make, and Thompson made it.
Lastly, Thompson is incredibly accurate considering his dual-threat status. He holds Kansas State’s record for lowest interception percentage and is third in completion percentage. Thompson has always exhibited comfort and poise in the pocket, no matter the quality of the offensive line. That leads to better-developed plays and better throws most of the time. Thompson would be a good scheme quarterback, where route combinations make up methodical drives.
Now, despite his strengths, there are many reasons why Thompson is not an elite quarterback prospect.
First, Thompson has a lengthy injury history, with a season-ending injury in 2020 and multiple injuries in 2021. He was able to play through some in his last season, but reliability is the best ability. A combine physical may put teams’ concerns to bed, but those injuries still loom large.
Next, Thompson has very limited measurables. While he was amongst the taller quarterbacks at the Shrine Bowl, Thompson had the smallest hand size of the group. The ideal quarterback has at least a 9.5 inches hand span, while Thompson was more than an inch smaller. An inch maybe his biggest detriment, contributing to less ball grip at the next level.
Lastly, Thompson has issues with pre-snap reads. While he can create after the snap, Thompson can be fooled at the line of scrimmage or he will not change the play. Blitzes were especially effective at points, something that every NFL defensive coordinator will take advantage of.