Redskins Draft Chris Thompson With the 154th Pick in the Fifth Round

The Redskins used the 154th in the 2013 NFL Draft to select Florida State runningback Chris Thompson.

Thompson is 5-7, 192 lbs and rushed 91 times for 687 yards and 5 TD’s, had 45 receptions for 430 yards and a TD in his career at FSU.

In early October of 2011, it looked as though Thompson’s football career could be over. After struggling with back pain in the spring and fall camp, he took a hit that broke two vertebrae in his back. But he rehabbed diligently over the next several months, somehow making his way back to the field for the start of the 2012 season. That sort of toughness, added to his sprinter’s speed, makes Thompson a potential late-round pick as a change of pace back and return specialist in the NFL – if he stays healthy.

Thompson was considered one of the top all-purpose players in the country coming out of Florida’s Madison County High School, rushing for over 2,300 yards and 33 touchdowns while leading his team to a state title as a senior. He got on the field right away for the Seminoles, playing 11 games (23-120, two TD rush, 6-150 on kick returns), missing two due to a death in the family.

Thompson started six of 14 games in 2010, leading the team in rushing (134-845, 6 TD rushing; 19-155, TD receiving) and earning the team’s Chick-fil-A Bowl MVP award with 25 rushes for 147 yards and a touchdown in the win over South Carolina.

Strengths – Dangerous runner/receiver combination in the backfield able to make the big play. Comfortable behind a fullback in I-formation, follows off tackle the cuts back inside. Capable swing pass receiver, looks the catch into hands, and utilizes a quick move to make a tackler miss in space. Definitely at his bets in the open field. Makes things happen if untouched at the second level, open footwork and makes tacklers miss with nice burst.

Very patient on screen passes but tends to drift to the sideline. If the lane is there, he is a very decisive runner. Gives good effort when attempting to pickup blitzer, dives at inside leg.

Weaknesses – Carries the ball in the wrong arm too often. First contact usually brings him down, loses footing and upended. Will not always get back to the line of scrimmage when contacted in the backfield. Small and lean frame. Can attempt too many moves in space. Runs like a receiver, striding instead of being efficient with his footwork.

Can’t sustain in pass protection or mirror. Takes some really big hits, could be due to his upright stance. Has the most problems when initial line is stopped at the line of scrimmage. Has difficulties creating without some space first.

Two broken vertebrae in his back wasn’t enough to keep Thompson from coming back for his senior year. The diminutive but speedy back led the Seminoles in rushing in 2010 (845 yards, six touchdowns, also 19-155, TD receiving), but struggled with his back throughout his junior season even before suffering the major injury against Wake Forest.

(stats via thompson, redskins

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