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Chris Thompson: Sleeper Update

From the Washington Post:

Thompson offers excellent burst, which he showed at Florida State. He’d be a good fit in what the Redskins want to do with some triple-option looks or on third downs. However, he’s listed at 5 feet 7 and did not always excel at blitz pickups, nor did he have a lot of experience in that role. But he is elusive.

In five years of playing high level, competitive football (4 college, 1 pro), Alfred Morris has totaled 41 receptions, or a slow month for Darren Sproles. While it is pretty clear that Morris is going to play easily 90% of the first and second downs for the Redskins in 2013, there is a real chance that third down work is up for grabs between Roy Helu, Evan Royster, Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison.

In an article for the Washington Post, John Kiem, a beat writer for the Redskins, speculated on who would fulfill those duties. He notes that Royster is not built for 3rd down, and it is my contention that Jawan Jamison will be blocking for the Toronto Argonauts before he sees serious time for an NFL squad. The real threat to playing time would be the oft-injured Roy Helu. Here’s a quick comparison of Helu and Thompson:

Player Height Weight 40 Bench Reps College YPC Total Yards Total Touches Touchdowns per Touch
Chris Thompson 67 192 4.42 (Not official) 21 6.3 2165 322 0.0465
Roy Helu 73 219 4.4 11 5.9 3905 632 0.044

Helu easily had more raw production. Given the usage patterns of the Florida State coaches with Thompson, and Thompson’s fractured leg and torn ACL, it’s easy to see why that was the case. On a per touch basis, however, Thompson was a more talented player. The listed 4.42 40 time from NflCombineResults.Com is an unofficial time and there is some speculation out there that when fully healthy, Thompson is actually faster than that. Helu has previous NFL production to back his case, but as I noted all the way back before the draft, (Shawn Siegele eventually came around to this perspective too), there is a real chance that Thompson is a special talent. It’s possible that Thompson starts playing 3rd downs as early as this year, and if he does get on the field this soon, I will take that as a positive sign for his long term dynasty value.

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