Miami Dolphins facing decision with rookie QB Skylar Thompson

Quarterback Skylar Thompson was the star of the Miami Dolphins’ preseason, and as a result, he may not be the subject of the biggest question when it comes to roster decisions to reach. the limit of 53 players.

Should the Dolphins keep the seventh-round rookie pick on the active roster? Better yet, can they afford not to?

The choice is pretty simple: keep Thompson and sacrifice a spot at another position or waive Thompson with the idea of ​​re-signing him to the practice squad, hoping another team doesn’t claim him on Wednesday.

There wouldn’t usually be much danger in exposing Thompson to waivers given his late-round status, but his preseason performance (138.4 passer rating) changed all that.

While there is a danger in overemphasizing preseason performances, where several starters played limited or none at all snaps and defensive schemes are very basic so as not to reveal secrets, Thompson looked like everything. simply true in the three matches we’ve witnessed.

And in other words, he certainly looked better than anyone the Detroit Lions have at quarterback behind Jared Goff. In fact, editor John Maakaron of sister site SI Fan Nation All Lions planned for the team to drop backups David Blough and Tim Boyle and leave Goff as the only QB on the roster until the team could. find someone else.

While most teams these days end up keeping just two quarterbacks, it’s not uncommon for there to be a third and teams across the league have no doubt been paying attention to what Thompson has been up to. during the pre-season.

THE PROS AND CONS OF KEEPING A THIRD QUARTERBACK

But what about the argument that a third quarterback is a waste of a roster spot?

Well, we would answer that by asking what kind of contribution a team should expect from the 53rd player, and the answer isn’t much.

From the Dolphins’ perspective, is it better to keep Thompson and watch him continue to develop behind Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater, or keep a fourth halfback or a sixth wide receiver or an extra defensive back?

Remember the Dolphins can have that fourth halfback or sixth wide receiver or whatever else on the practice squad, and it says here that the difference wouldn’t be as big as the difference between Thompson and the quarterback the Dolphins signed with the practice squad in the event they lost Thompson to another team.

So the decision seems pretty obvious from here.

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Head coach Mike McDaniel made no definitive statement about keeping Thompson on the 53 when he spoke to the media on Sunday, though it’s easy to read between the lines.

“He made it difficult, didn’t he?” McDaniel said. quarterback who does that. That’s more than his quarterback rating and completion percentage. He possessed quarterback responsibility in terms of all the other players on the field with him. He made them better by helping them line up, and we had very few procedural issues. And so I think in pre-season football there are a lot of quarterbacks who have opportunities.

“It’s rare that a guy can be a seventh-round draft pick and people outside the organization know his name. I think he opened his eyes to the way he played, and that has made this a very tricky situation about whether or not you can try to get him on the practice squad or keep him on the 53 roster. But you know, like a lot of players, I think he – especially one of the things I was most pleased with about this last game It’s pretty much every participant who can hold their heads up high and hold on to what they’ve done in pre-season , the closing being last night. And he should hold his head up high and hopefully rest easy because he has literally done everything you can be on this team.

DOLPHIN HISTORY LESSON ON NO. 3 QBs

As we consider Thompson’s status, it’s only fitting to look back over the past few years to see if there’s any trend when it comes to the Dolphins and the No. 3 quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.

Well, the Dolphins have worn two quarterbacks for their first game in the last three seasons, with Tua Tagovailoa and Jacoby Brissett in 2021; Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua in 2020; and Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen in 2019.

The Dolphins also didn’t have three quarterbacks on their Day 1 roster in 2018 — they had four.

Yes, four.

That year, the Dolphins started the season with Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler, Luke Falk and Nick Fales.

And then in 2016, the Dolphins kept a third quarterback out of the first 53, and that quarterback was Brandon Doughty.

And Doughty, like Thompson this year, was a seventh-round rookie pick. And, with all due respect to Doughty, he wasn’t as impressive in his first preseason (89.1 passer rating) as Thompson was this year.

So if the Dolphins could afford to keep Doughty on the 53 that year – and, remember, Miami continued to make the playoffs during that 2016 season – they can certainly afford to keep Thompson this year. .

It’s almost obvious.

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