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Kansas State Football: Lucky Round 7

Skylar Thompson and Russ Yeast had to wait a bit, but the 7th round was good for both Wildcats.

NFL: Scouting Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I’m sure there were tense moments in the Yeast and Thompson camps today as picks ticked off the board without mention of either Kansas State Wildcat. Fortunately, their patience was rewarded in the 7th round, as both players got the thrill of a lifetime, hearing their name called in the NFL draft.

Skylar Thompson

Skylar was the first Wildcat to find a new home. The Dolphins decided to reserve their rights to kick the tires on Thompson, drafting him with the 247th pick.

Skylar enters a rather unsettled quarterback situation in Miami. Tua Tagovailoa is the starter, but he’s had an up and down career thus far. It was rumored the Dolphins were in the market for a quarterback for most of last season (Deshaun Watson was the primary rumor). Tua came on late in the season and put most trade rumors (Tom Brady to Miami trade rumor has bubbled up on occasion) to bed. His third season will be critical in deciding his fate in Miami.

The Dolphins hedged their bets by signing veteran Teddy Bridgewater as their primary backup. Bridgewater signed an incentive loaded, one year free agent deal worth between 6.5 and 10 million dollars. The money is guaranteed, meaning Teddy will be on the Dolphins roster this season.

That puts Skylar in a bind, because many NFL teams only carry 2 active quarterbacks, and I assume Miami will be one of those teams because of Bridgewater’s experience. That leaves Skylar and 3rd year quarterback Chris Streveler to fight it out for the 3rd (inactive) quarterback spot.

My guess is that Skylar spends next season on the practice squad, but once the starting spot gets ironed out, one way or the other, next season, he stands a good shot of making the active roster in his second season.

If Tua proves himself, the Dolphins won’t have a need for an expensive, veteran quarterback like Bridgewater. If Tua loses the job, the Dolphins will most likely trade for another starting caliber quarterback. They’re in the weird spot of having an overall solid roster with a question at quarterback. That’s tough because that means you’re good enough to win some games, maybe make the playoffs, but there is a hard ceiling on overall potential. It also means you’re not in a spot to draft a rookie quarterback, and with an otherwise solid roster, you don’t want to nurse along another rookie, while wasting the rest of your roster.

Anyway, that was too many words to say that Skylar’s short term prospects with Miami aren’t great, but his long term prospects are better because the quarterback situation in Miami will be settled the season after next. He’s got the skill set to be an excellent back up quarterback behind an established quarterback. I think the Dolphins will have one of those in 2024, one way or the other.

Russ Yeast

Russ Yeast didn’t have to wait much long after Skylar was drafted, going to the Rams at pick 253.

The versatile defensive back will have every opportunity to make the roster of the defending Super Bowl Champions. With limited roster spots, the ability to play multiple positions is always a plus, and Yeast has done a little bit of everything during his college career. He can play safety or slot corner and he played on the special teams at Louisville.

Best case scenario is he carves out a reserve spot as a utility defensive back capable of playing slot corner and safety and a special teamer. It wouldn’t surprise me if he moved back and forth between the active and reserve roster most of the season, depending on what the Rams need on any particular week.

That could be his ceiling in the NFL, but he’s a solid athlete and a good overall football player. He could eventually find a larger role. The goal is to make it 3 years and become a vested member of the NFLPA.

After that, it’s all gravy.

Undrafted Free Agents

It appears as though both of K-State’s starting guards for the last two seasons will go for the same spot in New Jersey York with the Giants.