Casey Thompson Set to Announce & Evaluation

Announcement Coming

As first reported by Greg Powers of Scout.com, 2018 QB, Casey Thompson (Moore, OK) tells us that he will announce his final decision next Thursday.

As you’ll recall, Thompson made a return visit to Texas last weekend.

Our own, McKinzie offered his thoughts on Casey Thompson. McKinzie is a former college quarterback and high school coach.

Review of Sophmore Evaluation (Southmoore HS – Moore, Oklahoma – 6’1” 185)

I thought it would be good to take a comparison of my evaluation notes from Thompson’s 2015 film and then look at his most recent season. Sort of a side-by-side anaylsis. It really is tough to look at this perspective for guys like Thompson because he was so effective as a sophomore quarterback. Some of what I had to write about him that can be seen as a “negative” is really reaching deep and being nitpicky but I took the approach of if I were his position coach what are the things I would drill into him each and every day.

Below are my notes from last year on his sophomore film…

Pocket Accuracy — Thompson shows very good precision on deep, intermediate, and short passes when given time to set his feet and throw in the pocket.

Rollout Accuracy — Thompson has a unique ability to get outside of the tackle box very quickly, which is beneficial as it actually can sometimes allow him to plant his feet and deliver the football as opposed to throwing on the move. There are several plays on his film that show his ability to throw back across his body while rolling to his right and hitting a crossing receiver.

Thompson demonstrates good mechanics in his rolls to his weak side. If there is a negative, I feel Thompson sometimes relies too much on his superior athleticism and sometimes sacrifices mechanics. Doing this can cause the ball to “float” and miss the intended target or be intercepted. This is not too much of a criticism since he was also only a sophomore in 2015.

Flushed Accuracy — Thompson does not like to stay behind the line of scrimmage when the pocket begins to collapse (more on this below). He tends to tuck the ball and make plays with his feet. The instances where Thompson did escape the pocket and find open targets his passes were crisp and accurate. Going again to his athleticism, Thompson’s ability to throw without his feet properly set is greatly beneficial to him for this particular rating.

Escapability — As I mentioned above, Thompson prefers to take to the ground when the pass play breaks down around him. He is excellent at planting his front foot into the ground and escaping to his strong side and shows tremendous ability to reverse out of the pocket to backside pressure and roll to his left.

Open Speed — Thompson’s 40-yard-dash time is listed at 4.55. His straight line speed is exceptional as there are several clips showing him running away from defenders who have an angle.

Arm Strength — At times, the ball seems to explode out of his hands on deep balls. On shorter, sideline patterns, he gets the ball from hash to sideline very quickly, which keeps closing defenders away while the receiver secures the catch.

Release — Thompson’s short release is great. The ball rarely drops below the lettering above his jersey numbers. A few times, it does look like he “cocks his arm” to deliver the deep ball, but this is probably nitpicking.

Touch — Thompson places the ball where it needs to be. There are a few instances on his film where it appears he is throwing the ball into a crowd only to see it go over the defenders to his receiver. Tight coverage versus a Thompson throw is often futile. Thompson’s one area to work on here would be knowing when to deliver a 90 mile-per-hour fastball and when to put some finesse on the ball.

Overall — There is a reason he has offers from all over the country. He can beat you with his arm and feet. His athleticism will catch the eyes of any recruiter and coach.

Junior Year Progression

So for specific comparisons between my evaluation of Casey Thompson’s sophomore year and this year…

2015 Film Eval: “I feel Thompson sometimes relies too much on his superior athleticism and sometimes sacrifices mechanics. Doing this can cause the ball to “float” and miss the intended target or be intercepted. This is not too much of a criticism since he was also only a sophomore in 2015.”

2016 Comparison: Thompson’s arm is stronger now than it was in 2015. He did not float as many balls this past Fall. I do still believe, however, he sacrifices mechanics from time to time. With that being said, when those mechanics break down he simply turns into that backyard baller quarterback. In this regard, I think of guys like Baker Mayfield, DeShaun Watson, etc. Guys like Thompson have enough arm strength, field vision, and awareness to not take too many risks and when they have mechanical breakdowns they can typically overcome them with the three things attributes I just mentioned.

2015 Film Eval: “Thompson does not like to stay behind the line of scrimmage when the pocket begins to collapse.”

2016 Comparison: In his junior film, when the pocket collapsed Thompson appeared to keep his eyes downfield much more often than in 2015. This is an example of maturity as a player and probably coaching points from his coaching staff. It is easy for guys like Thompson to just rely on their speed when things begin to get chaotic behind the line of scrimmage. He seemed to trust the fact his receivers would work their way open. That is a big positive.

2015 Film Eval: “Thompson’s 40-yard-dash time is listed at 4.55. His straight line speed is exceptional as there are several clips showing him running away from defenders who have an angle.”

2016 Comparison: Most of you will think I am crazy but it seems to me that maybe, just maybe, Thompson is a slight (and very slight) bit slower than last year. There just didn’t seem to be the break-away type of speed in 2016 that seemed to be prevalent in 2015.

2015 Film Eval: “Thompson’s one area to work on here would be knowing when to deliver a 90 mile-per-hour fastball and when to put some finesse on the ball.”

2016 Comparison: To me, this is the most noticeable area of improvement for Thompson from a year ago. Finesse is important in the way a football is delivered. Thompson’s arm strength got the best of him in 2015, and I chalk that up to just being a very young, talented quarterback playing against high end high school competition. He delivers all the various “types” of passes you look for in a quarterback.

2015 Film Eval: “Thompson’s short release is great. The ball rarely drops below the lettering above his jersey numbers. A few times, it does look like he ‘cocks his arm’ to deliver the deep ball.”

2016 Comparison: His release is probably even better than last year. His release is one of the quickest I’ve seen in a good while. Combine this with the fact he has excellent footwork and his release could even be called “deadly”. I did not notice as much arm “cocking” in his delivery.

Overall

Thompson is an elite prospect, there is no doubt about that, and even if there were doubts his offer list would silence that talk. He really is that “next generation” quarterback that can beat a defense in so many different ways and gives defensive coordinators nightmares planning how to slow him down. If one had to look really hard, I do feel he still sometimes throws a few balls up for grabs and counts on his guys to come down with it. With that said, he also knows the abilities of his teammates and has no doubt scouted film on the opponents so he knows more about what he can and can’t get way with every Friday night than I do just by watching 15 minutes of film.

I think his quickness, escapability, and accuracy are second to none. He throws the back shoulder fade very well, and as most of you know, that route, when executed properly is almost impossible to defend with great frequency.

Biggest Praise: Quickness; Field Vision; Accuracy.

Biggest Points of Improvement: True to mechanics on breakdowns; Become more comfortable escaping to his off-hand side