Secondary was a need going into the NFL draft for the Miami Dolphins, and after drafting Bobby McCain earlier in the fifth round, they added Minnesota safety Cedric Thompson to the fold with the 150th pick.
Thompson had 205 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, five interceptions and three forced fumbles in three seasons at Minnesota, starting all 13 games at safety in 2014. Standing at 6'0", 208 pounds, he has great size to line up and cover tight ends down the field, which is why Miami selected him.
His background before coming to Minnesota is quite interesting. Born in Los Angeles, Thompson and his family moved to Bombay Beach, California, a small town on the Salton Sea. In his senior year of high school, he played running back, rushing for 1,808 yards and 27 touchdowns. Thompson credits this for his football success, telling Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune: “I would have never worked out that hard if I was living in L.A. In L.A., I had fun and went out with friends all the time. But in Bombay, I was bored all the time, so all I did was work out.”
Due to the near-obscurity of the area he lived in, Thompson didn't get much attention from universities, being recruited only by Portland State before Minnesota jumped in.
He is an adept good tackler with the ability to wrap up his man. He's excellent at communicating with the rest of the secondary and getting players in the correct position.
His pro-day workout at Minnesota was impressive, thanks to a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, 21 reps on the bench press and a 40.5" vertical jump.
Thompson could use more development in terms of run defense, where he lacks patience. He has to learn to recognize and react quicker to plays on the field.
He looks to follow the Dolphins' mold of fifth-round safeties, joining Chris Clemons and Reshad Jones. He's the likely successor to Louis Delmas at free safety, and it will be interesting to see how he develops this season.
Statistics provided by Sports-Reference.com.