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Thompson Brings Turnover Skills to Redskins


By stockpiling picks in last month's NFL Draft, the Redskins were able to add plenty of talented prospects to the roster.

One such prospect was Boise State cornerback Brandyn Thompson.

A seventh-round draft pick (213th overall), Thompson brings intriguing playmaking ability to the Redskins' secondary.

In college, Thompson forced a total of 14 turnovers -- 13 interceptions and one forced fumble. That fits defensive coordinator Jim Haslett's measure of success.

"As a corner, the biggest thing you can do to help your team is to create turnovers," Thompson said in a post-draft conference call on April 30. "Get your hands on the ball and help your team win the game. The more interceptions you get, the more it helps your team."

At 5-10 and 177 pounds, Thompson has average size for an NFL cornerback. It's one reason why his stock probably fell in the draft.

However, his speed helped him to stand out at the college level.

"Here's a guy that ran 10.6 to 10.7 in the 100 meters," head coach Mike Shanahan said of Thompson.  "You just like the way he plays, the way he competes."

Thompson is expected to compete for a reserve cornerback role, but he has a chance to make a more immediate impact on special teams. In college he handled gunner, jammer, and field goal blocking responsibilities.

Thompson saw regular playing time for the last three years after playing on special teams as a true freshman.

Shanahan described Thompson as someone who had benefitted from "a lot of playing experience."

In college, Thompson stepped up in his biggest games. In the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, he picked off TCU quarterback Andy Dalton and returned 51 yards for the first score of the game.  He finished the game with seven tackles and two interceptions en route to being named the game's Defensive MVP.

Describing his best trait, Thompson said: "I think it's my playmaking ability the ability to go on the field and have an impact on the game. I think I take pride in that more so than the stats."

Thompson also has experience playing at FedExField. He played there last September in a matchup between his Broncos and the Hokies of Virginia Tech. In that game, he registered four tackles. He yielded a touchdown in the third quarter, but Boise State prevailed 33-30.

Perhaps more importantly, Thompson had a good look at his new football home.

"That game was definitely a great experience, the environment was crazy" he said. "That was the second NFL stadium I had played in, but I hadn't played in one that nice. It was definitely a game to remember."

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