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NFL Draft Preview-Antonio Thompson

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Our favorite fake player is draft eligible this year.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Cedric Thompson is not the only member of the Gophers' secondary to graduate this year. Antonio Thompson, who you may remember from Big Ten Media Days, Kurt Vonnegut inspired dispatches, and the occasional comment, is also draft eligible this year. Thompson is not a national name, but has real potential to influence NFL games in mysterious and perhaps unnoticeable ways.

Stats

Antonio Thompson recorded no statistics this year or any other year. Paradoxically, that is precisely the reason that teams are salivating over his potential. Top flight cornerbacks do not show up in the stat sheet because opposing teams are afraid to target them. As FiveThirtyEight, writing about Deion Sanders puts it:

Take the great Deion Sanders. According to Pro-Football-Reference’s Approximate Value (a measure of an NFL player’s overall value to his team), Sanders peaked during the 1996 season, when he was named first-team All-Pro while playing every game for the Dallas Cowboys. Yet that same season, he tied his career-low for interceptions in a season (two) — even a broken-down, 37-year-old Sanders had more picks with the Baltimore Ravens in 2004.

What was going on? Teams were afraid to throw in Sanders’ direction. He wasn’t accumulating interceptions because he rarely had the chance to do so. The same was true for Revis last season. Despite posting one of the lower interception totals of his career, he was effectively shutting off one half of the field, keeping receivers from getting open and/or scaring the opposing quarterback away from risking a throw in his vicinity.

Thompson is even more impressive than Sanders. Much like his secondary teammate, Eric Murray, Thompson received no credit from the media or coaches on end of year lists because his stat sheet does not look impresive. How unimpressive you ask?

Year Age Team Pos No. G GS Int Yds TD Lng PD FF Fmb FR Yds TD Sk Tkl Ast Sfty AV
Freshmen 18 Minnesota S i 13 meh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sophomore 19 Minnesota S i 13 meh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Junior 20 Minnesota S i 13 meh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Senior 21 Minnesota S i 13 meh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Look at all those zeroes. When you add those stats to his listed height of undefined number, weight of "how much does an imagination weigh?", and 40 time of "Haha, seriously the 40 is terrible" you have a top flight safety prospect. Thompson is also mobile enough to play the boundary, field, or Hilbert corner.

Tape

Draft Profile

Antonio Thompson's future as a pro is much like Tinkerbell's existence. As long as we believe it exists, then it will come true.

Draft Projections

Jacksonville-Pick 36. The Jaguars's secondary was putrid last year, and let's be honest Jacksonville is exactly the front office to draft an imaginary player. Weirder things have happened in North Florida in the last month. The Jags would then trade the player to Cleveland for punter depth. The Browns would fire their coach at the end of the year, and make the magic player their head coach.

Antonio Thompson will be your new Browns coach in 2016.