Skylar Thompson Scouting Report and NFL Draft Profile
Quarterback, Kansas State, # 7
Skylar Thompson Scouting Report Measurables
6′ 2″ / 223 lbs
40 time: 4.91 seconds
Vertical: 31 inches
Broad jump: 9 ft 4 in
3 Cone Drill: 7.00 seconds
20 Yd Shuttle: 4.28 seconds
Skylar Thompson NFL Draft Profile
Skylar was born in Palmyra, Missouri on June 4th, 1997. He played football at Fort Osage High School in Independence, MO. Skylar graduated from FOHS in 2016 and ended his high school career with 6222 passing yards, 71 passing TDs to 14 interceptions. Thompson also added 1879 rushing yards, and 39 rushing TDs. Some of Skylar’s high school accomplishments include making the 2014 1st Team All-State, 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team All-District and being a Simone Award Finalist. Skylar was considered a dual-threat QB in high school; a title he holds to this day.
Skylar committed to Kansas State on May 9th, 2015 as a 3-star recruit, and he stayed with the program from 2016 until this past season. During his time at Kansas State, Skylar started 40 of the 45 games he played in. He won 24 of those games, making him the winningest quarterback at the school since 1990. Skylar also participated in 4 bowl games at Kansas State. Those 4 games were the 2016 Texas Bowl, 2017 Cactus Bowl, 2019 Liberty Bowl, and the 2022 Texas Bowl. In the 2022 Texas Bowl, Skylar earned the honor of being the game’s MVP. Some other notable accolades from his time at Kansas State were winning the 2019 Liberty Bowl Offensive MVP and making the 2020 First-Team Academic All-Big 12.
Skylar Thompson Strengths
Skylar’s accuracy shines brightest when throwing short routes. He shows great anticipation and timing and can place the ball slightly in front of receivers. This ability allows his receivers to gain good YAC. He has a slightly greater margin of error on intermediate passes but, I would say you could still call his accuracy in this department a strength. Thompson shows a good ability to throw into tight windows on short and intermediate routes, especially on slant and out routes.
He also has shown the ability to anticipate throws between zone defenders to his receivers. However, his accuracy diminishes a bit on the deep ball. This can mostly be attributed to his lack of great arm strength. By lowering his base, he could help his accuracy issues.. He also tends to struggle with backfoot and off-balance throws. Thompson also struggles with accuracy outside the numbers, especially on deeper routes. Overall, I feel there is a bit to work on in terms of his accuracy but, I would still call his accuracy a strength in his passing game.
Skylar has pretty sound mechanics. His upper body mechanics are good. However, I think he could benefit from sinking his base a bit lower. He rotates his hips well and steps into his throws well. His release is quick, though his mechanics when throwing on the run/ when off-balance can be inconsistent. His base can narrow a bit under these circumstances.
Skylar has been a dual-threat QB since his high school days. He has solid speed and is agile enough to cause missed tackles. He has shown that his running ability is something opposing defenses need to seriously account for. His mobility results in him having big plays, especially in open space. He has good ball security as well. However, he does tend to sometimes tuck the ball and run too early. Fortunately, these runs usually result in positive yardage even if he takes off a bit early.
Skylar has good footwork. He shows the ability to climb the pocket well and reset his feet quickly. Additionally, he has a really good pocket presence. He isn’t used to being directly under center, so his footwork in formations where he is directly under center can be a bit wonky. Overall, I would say his footwork has the flow and precision of an NFL-caliber QB.
Thompson receives praise from his teammates and coaches for being a good leader. He is someone who shows humility and helps motivate his teammates. He has a lot of grit, which is evident as he has dealt with nagging injuries. Thompson continued to persevere through the pain and discomfort for all of those who are counting on him. He is the type of guy who likes to lead by example. Additionally, he was given the honor of wearing jersey number 7 for Kansas State. The number 7 is a historical number for the program, so the fact that he was entrusted with such an honor shows how highly those around him think of his character.
Skylar’s arm talent is okay, but is nothing noteworthy. The lack of arm talent limits his abilities, especially on his deeper reads. His arm strength is sufficient enough to throw tight spirals up to the intermediate game, but anything past that results in more inconsistencies. His lack of arm talent shows especially on deep throws that are outside the numbers. As a result of
this, he has a greater margin of error on comeback and corner routes. Thompson’s lack of arm talent also shows on his off-balance throws. Fortunately, Skylar does a good job resetting his feet so these types of throws don’t happen all that often. However, when they do they can end up inaccurate, incomplete, or intercepted. This is because, in throws like that, he will have to rely mostly on his arm strength.
Skylar has suffered from upper body, ankle, and knee injuries. These injuries haven’t seemed to slow him down much, but they could be areas of concern. Especially the knee and ankle, as stability in those areas can greatly affect an athlete’s shiftiness.
Skylar would be entering the league as a 25-year-old rookie. I view him as a project QB, so he would need to unlock his potential relatively quickly to become an effective quarterback long-term.
His touch is not very detrimental, however, it is far from being great due to some inconsistencies. There are certain times he puts a little too much spin on a ball that doesn’t require it. However, he has shown the ability to have good touch on the ball as well. This is an inconsistent component of his game that needs to be coached up for him to take his game to the next level. Concerns in his touch show up on all levels, but it’s mainly concerning the deep levels of the field.
There are concerns in this department. He can struggle with recognizing pre-snap defensive adjustments. He also has issues with identifying blitzes. There are anticipation concerns on deeper throws. A big knock against his decision-making is that he tends to take off and run after his first few reads aren’t there rather than looking for a receiver who may be opening up.
Skylar has had instances where he has struggled with pressure. He has instances where he will not sense when the pocket collapses. On the contrary, he has instances where he notes the pocket beginning to collapse and will take off and run too early.
He shows a good understanding of coverages and doesn’t take his eyes off the field when looking for his first few reads. However, he tends to run after he bails on his first two reads. Additionally, his lack of arm strength results in him having a limited ability to hit his deeper reads.
Skylar Thompson Draft Stock
I would have him as a 6/7th round pick. I believe he could also be regarded as a high-end UDFA.
Final Thoughts on Skylar Thompson Scouting Report
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.
Skylar Thompson Scouting Report Analyst- Andrew Angelina.