Dolphins third-team quarterback Skylar Thompson makes roster — and I understand why – The Denver Post


Rookie Skylar Thompson was absolutely amazing in training camp and preseason. No doubt.

That’s why Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier and coach Mike McDaniel both agreed it was a no-brainer to keep Thompson, the seventh-round pick from Kansas State, on the initial 53-man roster.

I’ll admit, I was struggling with this one a little bit. I’ll also admit I was the only one.

But after listening to Grier and McDaniel [and others], I understand. I get it.

“I haven’t heard of a good football team that their problem was they had too many good quarterbacks,” McDaniel said Tuesday.

The guy was a “preseason All-Pro”. Thompson made amazing throws, commanded the huddle, showed leadership qualities, and moved the offense. Coaches liked him and players liked him.

Miami wasn’t going to be able to sneak him onto the practice squad. That would have meant cutting him, and hoping he’d clear waivers. And there’s no way that would have happened as well as he played. Some team would have claimed him. So basically the Dolphins had to either put him on the 53 or kiss him goodbye.

Grier said teams told them they’d be “stupid” to release Thompson.

“We’re not in the business of being stupid,” McDaniel said.

So, there you go. That’s the reason Thompson is on the roster — the Dolphins aren’t stupid.

I’m good with that reasoning.

My thinking followed the logic that seventh-round quarterbacks usually don’t turn into anything.

Yes, quarterback is the single most important position on the field. That’s understood.

But the Dolphins could use another cornerback with starter Byron Jones on the physically-unable-to-perform list and sidelined for at least the first four weeks of the season. Perhaps they could even get a cornerback who plays special teams.

The Dolphins maintain they have five cornerbacks on the roster — Xavien Howard, Nik Needham, Noah Igbinoghene, Kader Kohou and Keion Crossen — and see no need to make additions. Grier said there’s no huge concern regarding Jones, and adding another cornerback isn’t “critical” at this time.

OK, well, look at the offensive line, where the Dolphins have eight on the roster, the minimum number NFL teams carry on their gameday active roster. Miami has no wiggle room.

“You need more players than eight,” McDaniel said. “But feel good about where [offensive tackle Greg Little is] at and we’re excited about that. We’re excited about the way that our tackles are performing.”

And above all, let’s face it, quarterbacks rule.

The Dolphins know firsthand the value of lightly-regarded quarterbacks. Veteran Matt Moore was undrafted out of Oregon State in 2007, signed with Dallas (2007) and then played for Carolina (2007-10) before joining the Dolphins for seven seasons (2011-17) and starting a playoff game. He developed nicely.

But look at the list of quarterbacks drafted in the seventh round in the last seven years:

— In 2016, Miami drafted quarterback Brandon Doughty from Western Kentucky [and North Broward Prep];

— In 2017, Denver selected Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly with the final pick of the draft, No. 253;

— In 2018, New England selected LSU quarterback Danny Etling with the first pick of the seventh round, No. 219, and Seattle selected Florida International University quarterback Alex McGough next with pick No. 220. Cincinnati selected Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside at No. 249;

— In 2020, Tennessee selected Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald at No. 224, Dallas selected James Madison quarterback Ben DiNucci at No. 231, New Orleans selected Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens at No. 240, and Minnesota selected Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley at No. 244.

DiNucci, who was just released by Dallas, played in two games and was 23-of-43 passing for 219 yards. Stevens played in one game with Carolina in 2020 and now plays with Calgary in the Canadian Football League.

Regardless, the Dolphins are crazy about Thompson, and I’m good with that type of conviction about a player they drafted. It means something.

McDaniel put it this way when explaining why Thompson is on the 53-man roster: “You can go a lot of draft classes over a long period of time and if you’re holding your breath for a player out of the seventh round to play like he did in the preseason you’re going to pass out. That’s why.

“It’s just because you don’t just scoff and look the other way when you have a player playing well at that position. If you let those slip through your fingers you’ll end up regretting that forever.”



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