How to Beat a Dead Horse: His Dying Words Were About Chris Thompson
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Open Scene Spot light on an old lonely man in a lonely bed in the middle of an otherwise bare stage. A young man enters the room and looks down at the old man. Son: Father, it’s almost time. Do you have any regrets? Father: Yes. Only one. I’ve hidden it deep inside, all my life, ever since I was a young man. It’s haunted my dreams these many years. Son: Father . . . what is it? Murder? Worse??? Father: Worse. Much worse. The year was 2013 . . . I passed on Chris Thompson in every single draft. [Silence] Son: I don’t know you. You’re not the man I thought you were. You’re not my father. Father: No . . . wait . . . he was only 5’7” . . . The son turns and leaves the room. The old man dies cold and alone. End Scene If the incomparable Shawn Siegele, Davis Mattek, and Coleman Kelly have anything to say about it, this might be my fate. They think Chris Thompson is a good pick at his ADP, that he compares to former first-round RBs, that he could beat out Helu for Washington’s third-down role, and that he may be a better rookie pick than Gio Bernard. I don’t. I hate small RBs. With all the mental energy I’ve expended thinking about this, I’m bound to be wrong in this no-win situation. If I’m correct, I get little glory in predicting that a short-and-small late-round RB recovering from a torn ACL didn’t become a fantasy asset. If I’m wrong . . . well, we’ve already seen that scene. I’m going to do a three-part series comprising my final words on the subject, and then I’m done. According to PFR, only one RB in the last 20 years has been a first-round pick while standing no taller than 68 inches. PFR tells us that guy is DeAngelo Williams, and yet his NFL Draft Scout profile says that Williams is actually 5’9”—so no RB shorter than 5’9” has been a first-round pick in the last 20 years. To me, this means that—even if he had first-round talent and were fully healthy—Thompson was never going to be a first-round RB. As such, I think comparisons to first-round RBs may be inaccurate. I especially think this because of his weight, 192 lbs. Another PFR screener reveals that only 6 first-round RBs in the last 20 years have weighed no more than 202 and no less than 182 lbs. [I have removed Felix Jones since his NFL Draft Scout profile says that he was 207 lbs. when he entered the league, and the wondrous (5’9”) Warrick Dunn misses the cut at 180 lbs.] Using NFL Draft Scout and the NFL Combine Player Profiles, I’ve put together this table.