2012 Titans Draft Picks: The Curious Case of Taylor Thompson

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: Quarterback Case Keenum #7 of the Houston Cougars is tackled by defensive end Taylor Thompson #8 of the Southern Methodist University Mustangs on November 19, 2011 at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

It is pretty safe to say that the selection of Taylor Thompson was the biggest surprise of the draft. Sure, the Zach Brown pick was a little bit surprising, but at least he will be playing the same position in the NFL that he played in college. That is not the case for Thompson.

After doing a little bit of research, it is easy to see why the Titans chose Thompson. Here is what Titans OC Chris Palmer told John Glennon about Thompson as a tight end prospect:

"I’d say his growth will have to come in the technique of blocking, but as far as being a receiving tight end, I think he’s uncanny," offensive coordinator Chris Palmer said. "He’s got outstanding speed. He’s got outstanding size and hands."

Now of course you would not expect Palmer to say anything bad about him at this point, but he is not the only one that sees some special skills in Thompson. Here is what Gil Brandt had to say about him after the SMU Pro Day:

Thompson had an outstanding workout. He caught the ball really well, moves really well, and probably went from an undrafted free agent to a bottom-third-, top-fourth-round type of guy. He’s just a really good athlete who projects in my top 100.

The risk here is obvious. Teaching a guy to play a brand new position at the NFL level is not going to be easy, but it is really good to see the Titans taking a chance in the middle rounds on a guy that has unlimited potential to be a playmker. Today's NFL is all about playmakers. It is about time this team got on board with that. I can't wait to see what they do with him.

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