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Thompson signed with the Wildcats as the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year and Simone Award winner as the top player in the Kansas City metro area in 2015, helping his team win a state title that season. He redshirted his first season in Manhattan, being named the co-winner of the team’s top scout team player. Thompson began the 2017 season as a backup but came on to start the final four contests (51-of-83, 61.4%, 689 yards, five TDs, three INTs; 69-267-3.9, three TDs rushing). He started 10 of 11 games played in 2018 (122-of-208, 58.7%, 1,391 yards, nine TDs, four INTs; 105-373-3.6, five TDs rushing). Thompson stepped up his play in 13 starts as a junior, garnering honorable mention All-Big 12 honors (177-of-297, 59.6%, 2,315 yards, 12 TDs, five INTs; 114-405-3.6, 11 TDs rushing). He was also named the team’s Offensive MVP in the Liberty Bowl against Navy (10-of-14, 124 yards passing; rush TD). Thompson’s senior season was derailed by an upper-body injury in 2020, limiting him to just three starts (40-of-64, 62.5%, 626 yards, four TDs; 19-38-2.0, three TDs rushing). He also missed time with a knee injury in 2021 but managed to start 10 games (162-of-233, 69.5%, 2,113 yards, 12 TDs, four INTs) and finished his career by winning Texas Bowl MVP honors in the team’s win over a depleted LSU squad (21-of-28, 259 yards, 3 TDs). Thompson lost his mother to breast cancer when he was 6 years old — just seven months after his grandfather passed from pancreatic cancer. — by Chad Reuter
Thompson possesses good pocket mobility and arm strength, but his hand span (8 5/8) is a concern. Thompson makes off-platform throws and finds checkdowns late. His ball placement is inconsistent, but he’s effective when he gets in a rhythm. — Steve Muench
NFL Draft Buzz
SCOUTING REPORT: STRENGTHS
- Good accuracy overall, including excellent accuracy on short timing routes to backs and receivers, placing the ball slightly in front to lead receivers to potential yardage after the catch.
- Enough arm strength to drive the ball through tight windows up to 20 yards downfield. Spreads the ball around to multiple receivers.
- Generally accurate on intermediate and short throws; flashes anticipation and placement on intermediate outs and the ability to lead receivers on deeper throws.
- Sees the field very well when the play breaks down and occasionally changes plays at the line.
- Sticks throws into tight windows over the middle, throwing to spot on slant or between zone defenders before the receiver is open.
- Very mobile – has a natural knack for making defenders miss. Can run for big gains
SCOUTING REPORT: WEAKNESSES
- Marginal height, which will prove more of a detriment in an offense that asks him to drop back from center more often.
- Has struggled with his decision-making and needs to improve his pre-snap recognition skills to read defenses and see blitzes. Doesn’t decipher information as quickly as you would like, but does see the entire field and understands coverage.
- Needs to improve his touch at all levels and know when to gun it and when to take something off his throws. Accuracy is solid, but far from great with streaky ball placement downfield as he tries to thread the needle too much.
- Too often fails to give receivers a chance to make a play after the catch. High completion percentage padded by many quick screens.
- Sails throws to either sideline; receivers make him look good with acrobatic catches. Back-foot throws are not accurate. Sometimes trusts his arm too much, trying to stick passes late in the play or when off-balance.
- Often fails to react to pressure in the pocket and tries to escape too early
SCOUTING REPORT: SUMMARY
Skylar Thompson is a marginal prospect who may struggle to get drafted. He has decent accuracy, and is very mobile, but possesses only average arm strength, and has suspect decision-making. We expect Thompson to eventually make an NFL roster and has a good chance to develop into a solid NFL backup.
NFL Draft Dive
There’s a lot to like about Skylar Thompson. His skill set is aligned with the direction the game is going. He is relatively accurate and he can run; two very important aspects of the modern-day quarterback. However, his knocks will prevent him from being regarded as a top quarterback in the class. On the bright side, some of his faults like his decision-making, pocket awareness, and mechanical issues from his lower half can all be coached up.
Although some of his faults are a little more talent-based like his lack of great size and arm strength, I see Skylar as a project quarterback with promising potential who can have a good NFL career. Even if it isn’t as a starter, I can see Skylar enjoying a good career as a reliable and dynamic backup. An additional concern for him is if his skills shown in college will translate to the NFL. This is because he played on an offense that isn’t very NFL-friendly.
I believe it would be best for him to be brought in as a backup on a team running the west coast or RPO offensive scheme. This would give him the best opportunity to showcase his dual-threat abilities and put less emphasis on some of his weaknesses. Additionally, I believe having him as a backup is the most likely and beneficial for his career. This would give him time to adapt to the NFL style and witness firsthand how NFL defenses operate.
There are a couple of players I compare Skylar too. The first is Taysom Hill of the New Orleans Saints. Hill is used as a gadget guy and the offense works with his running ability and accuracy on short passes. I could see Skylar having a place in the NFL like this. A starter-level comparison is Daniel Jones of the New York Giants. Daniel Jones is a player with good running ability and good accuracy up to the intermediate level. His footwork is solid and he played in a similar offensive system at Duke as Skylar did at Kansas State.
My final comparison is Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys. Dak is considered a franchise-level quarterback and is one of the highest-paid in the position so this is a higher level comparison for Skylar. Dak is a real threat with his legs and his arms. He is a rather resilient player like Skylar. I think with good enough coaching that eliminates some of his bad habits, works on his deficiencies, and a scheme that works around his lack of some natural abilities like arm strength, he could achieve a status in the NFL similar to Dak.