The Titans made a defensive end-turned-tight end their fifth-round pick, selecting SMU’s Taylor Thompson with the 145th overall selection on Saturday.
It was only prior to SMU’s bowl game last season that Thompson began dabbling at tight end — the position he played in high school. He continued working there during the all-star game in Arkansas.
“He was practicing full time at tight end — routes, catching the ball, blocking, the whole deal,” Titans scout John Salge said. “That’s when we said, ‘Wow, this guy has some ability.’ And obviously, during his pro day, he worked out as a tight end as well. We’re just excited to have him. He’s a good athlete.”
“I’d say his growth will have to come in the technique of blocking, but as far as being a receiving tight end, I think he’s uncanny,” offensive coordinator Chris Palmer said. “He’s got outstanding speed. He’s got outstanding size and hands.”
TE is a position where stars can come from strange places. Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham were basketball players before turning to football relatively late in their respective careers. Jared Cook should be the TE1 in Tennessee this season, but Thompson is someone to watch.