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Dale Thompson TE USC 6'4 255

By: Robert Davis

Thompson has played a key role for the Trojans during his three years in the program, even if the stats do not show it. In three years, he has only caught four passes for 24 yards. He has been used a lot in doube tight end sets, as the blocking tight end, so he does have experience on the field. Thompson again was used solely as a blocker this past season, as he only caught one pass for nine yards.

Blocking is clearly the best part of Thompsonís game. He has solid size, with the room to grow. He can push people off the line of scrimmage, and mirror them when he stays in to protect the quarterback. Even though he has not been used much as a receiver, he brings potential in that facet of the game. He is athletic and has good straightline speed for the position.

Experience as a receiver is obviously the biggest question mark about Thompsonís game. He has not been asked to catch the ball very often. He has to show he can be more of a factor as a receiver to be a complete tight end.

The question about his receiving skills is legitimate. Playing with Dominique Byrd and now Fred Davis may have something to do with the lack of throws in his direction though. Thompson had an impressive showing in the spring, showing off speed and athleticism many did not think he possessed. He is a sleeper that could be drafted despite his lack of receiving numbers.


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