The Miami Dolphins made four picks in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, including the third of those selections: Minnesota defensive back Cedric Thompson. As we have already with the previous picks for the Dolphins, we take a look at Thompson through the eyes of the fans who watched him play every week in college. In this case, it's a look at Thompson from SB Nation's Minnesota Golden Gophers blog, The Daily Gopher.
Cedric Thompson is not one of those players who will wow you with his measurables, but like former Gopher safety Brock Vereen, Thompson will work harder than anyone and will give you 100% every time he steps on the field.
Thompson has that drive which makes him a workhorse. He was the Gopher's defensive captain in 2014 and had strong leadership skills. He can direct a defense if needed. Thompson is a good wrap-up tackler, but doesn't have an amazing closing burst to a player or the ball. He can occasionally be over anxious and get himself into the wrong spot at the wrong time. However, if he is in the right spot, he will make the play.
After the Dolphins selected Thompson, gopherguy05 continued to break down the defensive back:
Thompson heads to the NFL after a fantastic senior season for the Gophers. He finished second on the team in tackles after leading the Gophers in his junior season. He was also named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against Purdue when Thompson bookended the game with interceptions. He is also a smart player, being named All-Academic Big Ten.
Thompson should immediately have a chance to play his way into the lineup on special teams. He may not see the field as a safety much at first, but the Dolphins clearly identified him as a target, and Thompson has the drive and the ability to improve to surprise. His path may be very similar to the one Vereen took last season for the Bears--lots of special teams playing time and the occasional insertion into the defensive backfield in nickel and dime packages.
The selection of Thompson is one that should help the Dolphins with depth in the secondary. As gopherguy05 said, he likely will not see the field often on defense, instead playing special teams for his rookie year. He will be asked to sit behind Reshad Jones and Louid Delmas and learn this season, and could see some playing time in specific packages - though I would lean toward Michael Thomas getting the nickel/dime safety calls over Thompson at this point.
Thompson continues the Dolphins selection of "hard working" players, even if some of these guys may take some more development time than others. Thompson should be able to find a niche on special teams for Miami, and will start working his way into the defensive rotation.