Saturday afternoon in Houston, Taylor Thompson was golfing with some buddies, trying to get his mind off of the NFL Draft then currently taking place.
When he got to the 12th hole, Thompson's phone rang. It was the Tennessee Titans. They were informing him that he'd be getting drafted in about five minutes.
"It was pretty crazy," Thompson said. "I talked to the GM, the owner, the coach, everyone in player personnel. And from then on I had a bunch of interviews with radio stations and a ton of texts and calls from people congratulating me. It was a pretty amazing day."
Thompson didn't throw his golf clubs or anything, but he did have to stop the game early.
Heading into the draft, Thompson said everything was "up in the air" and that he didn't have any idea which team would take him. The Titans were one of 10 teams Thompson visited and he's excited to move to Nashville.
"I'm lucky I ended up there," he said. "I went up there awhile back because I visited Vanderbilt in high school and then I went up there two weeks ago to visit the Titans and talk to the coaches, so I've been [to Nashville] a couple times. It's a nice city. Coming from Dallas, Dallas and Nashville are very similar from what I've seen and what I've heard. It's going to be a cool place to live."
The Titans drafted Thompson with the tenth pick of the fifth round (145th overall).
A defensive end all through college, Thompson recently switched over to tight end, the position he played in high school at Prosper.
Back in November, SMU head coach June Jones approached Thompson about playing tight end, saying he believed the 6-foot-6, 278-pound starting defensive end would have a longer NFL career with a position change.
"The way he runs and his measureables are like the guy at New England," Jones said at SMU Pro Day last month, referring to Rob Gronkowski. "Everyone is looking for that guy."
Since that chat with Jones, Thompson has lost almost 20 lbs. and weighs about 259 right now.
Thompson believes that if teams had more film on him at tight end, he would have been drafted hire than the fifth round.
"I would definitely say I have the ability and talent to be drafted higher," he said. "But with the lack of film, it was harder. That was just the situation I was given."
"They want me to be a very athletic part of their offense and play on special teams and really I'll do whatever they need me to," Thompson said.
Thompson isn't worried about playing tight end in the NFL even though he didn't play in that role in college. He believes just his experience in a Division I system will have him prepared. He played in 49 games at SMU and started in 43.
"Honestly I don't think [the position change] is going to be very tough on me," he said. "I have lots of experience. I know the NFL will be a lot faster and all that kind of stuff, but I think the coaches will have me ready to play by the time the season rolls around."
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