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3 reasons the Bills should draft: Colorado S Tedric Thompson

Position: Safety.
School: Colorado.
Measurables: 6-foot-0, 204 pounds.
Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 4.60 seconds. Bench press: 17 reps. Vertical jump: 32.5 inches. Broad jump: 9 feet, 9 inches. 3-cone drill: 7.11 seconds. 20-yard shuttle: 4.36 seconds. 60-yard shuttle: 11.65 seconds.
Career stats: 33 games, 30 starts.
Draft projection: Seventh round.


1. He's a big-time ball hawk. Thompson, one of three members of the Colorado secondary to make the All-Pac-12 second team, finished with seven interceptions and 16 passes defensed in 2016. That tied teammate Ahkello Witherspoon for the FBS lead. As a junior in 2015, he had three interceptions and eight passes defensed. A former high school wide receiver, Thompson has good hands and the athleticism to make plays on the ball when it's in the air.

2. He's an analytics darling. The website Pro Football Focus named Thompson college football's "best coverage defender," pointing out his seven picks tied for most among safeties. Additionally, quarterbacks had a passer rating of just 22.3 when throwing to receivers Thompson was responsible for covering, charging him with just one touchdown allowed all season.

3. His coaches valued his contributions. Thompson was named Colorado's Dave Jones Award winner, which is chosen by the coaching staff and goes to the outstanding defensive player. Based on the coaches' film, he played the second-most snaps on defense (854) in finishing third on the team in tackles with 75 (47 solo, three for losses). He was also credited with 15 third-down stops, a team-high eight touchdown saves and three quarterback pressures.

Fun fact: Thompson's older brother played collegiately at Minnesota and was drafted by the Dolphins in the fifth round in 2015. His name? Cedric.

They said it: "He’s a ball-hawking free safety. Not as physical as I would like. At the present time, misses a lot of tackles, doesn’t get very involved in the run game, so he’s really a free safety only, which will limit where he can go." – NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins April 27. Up next: Grambling State WR Chad Williams.

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