With the 14th pick of the fifth round (150th overall), the Miami Dolphins drafted Cedric Thompson, a safety out of Minnesota. At 5’-11” and 211 pounds, Thompson will add some needed competition at the safety position, and the staff at PhinManiacs feel he projects as a backup for the Dolphins in the short term, a safety valve should starting safetly Louis Delmas suffer an injury. The team hopes Thompson develops into a long-term solution at safety.
Dolphins fans should be happy to hear about Thompson’s upbeat attitude and willingness to get his hands dirty in the game. In college, he played on all points of the team.
"I played on all points of the team at some point in my career. My senior year, I didn't play that much special teams since I was a starter, I started for the past three years so I played some tailback and everything else for the team, but throughout my career I played on every team," Thompson said. "I'm a strict tackler. I don't miss tackles. I think the biggest thing about my playing style is that I have a lot of upside. I've only played this position competitively for three years and I know that I have a lot of upside to be a great NFL safety. That's what I'm going to strive to be and I think that's going to be coming up in the next couple of years."
The root of Thompson's toughness and physicality can be traced back to his childhood where it was rough for him and his family. Nonetheless, Thompson knew he had to survive and did everything he could to become a better person each and every day.
"It was just the life that I was brought to. I look back and everything happens for a reason and that obviously that happened to me because of what I've been through. I had a lot of hard times in my life and I've had some good times in my life. I was always the kind of guy who pushed the good things forth rather than the bad things. I've been through a lot of bad things but if I can oversee the bad things to all the good things that have happened in my life ... things like this, anything can happen to me. Everybody has a story, everybody's been through something, but it's about what you do when things are hard. I'm really happy for all of the hard work and dedication I've put into myself and my surroundings and being different than everybody else was. I'm just thankful for this opportunity."
Thompson said that the Dolphins didn't tell him anything about competing for a starting job and he's fine with that right now. He just wants to contribute to the team first and if a starting job comes with that, then he'll take it right away. As far as his overall impression of the organization, Thompson said that he felt the most comfortable in Miami and fell in love with the coaching staff.
"Seriously, it came down from the coaches. A lot of times when I went on visits a lot of people cared about who you are as a player, which is definitely important. But when I went to the Dolphins, they really cared about who I was as a person more than a player, and that meant more to me than anything that anybody could say to me because if they can look at me as who I am, rather than how good I can play, then I'm all for that. But they know I can play, they know what I'm capable of, but they look at me as who I am, which is number one for me. That's why I absolutely love the coaching staff, I love the organization, and I loved the feel that I got when I was there in that facility."
Thompson talks a great game and let's hope that translates over to the playing field.
This story was written by Eldon Jenson. Follow him on Twitter @EJFootball.