Temple tight end Colin Thompson estimated that he talked to more than 20 NFL teams leading up to the draft and went to local pro day workouts for three: the Eagles and New York Giants and Jets.
He said there were calls from several teams to his agent during the sixth and seventh rounds. The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder eventually went undrafted, though. He said there were several options but he chose to sign as an undrafted free agent with the Giants.
“I had some choices but I loved the Giants' whole football operation,” Thompson said by phone. “It feels like the right fit for me.”
What is interesting is that the Giants selected a tight end with their first-round pick, Evan Engram of Mississippi.
“He is more of a wide receiver who catches a lot of passes but he can also block,” Thompson said of the 6-3, 234-pound Engram. “I am heavier, about 260, and it’s almost like a different position, where he is more like an H and I am a Y.”
Coincidentally, fellow Temple tight end Romond Deloatch also has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Giants.
For Thompson, his signing is remarkable considering that at one point, his college career was considered over. A product of Archbishop Wood of the Philadelphia Catholic League, Thompson began his career at Florida.
As a high school senior, he broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot, referred to as a Jones fracture. He suffered the same injury during his redshirt freshman season at Florida, and the school ruled him medically ineligible to play.
He eventually got cleared to play and Temple was the only school to offer him a scholarship. Thompson played nearly three full seasons for the Owls and was part of consecutive 10-4 teams.
Thompson gives a great deal of credit for his success to Temple tight ends and special teams coach Ed Foley.
“He is the reason I signed,” Thompson said. “I couldn’t ask for a better coach, and the way he develops talent, he is the best I have ever been around.”
Thompson was more of a blocker with the Owls. As a senior, he had three receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. Besides being an accomplished blocker, he was one of the team leaders.
He earned his undergraduate degree in media communications and says he has halfway completed his work toward a master’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation management.
Before the draft, Thompson got to enjoy one final thrill when the graduating seniors were presented their AAC championship rings at halftime of the Cherry & White game.
Temple director of athletics Pat Kraft "did an unbelievable job in setting that up and bringing us back, and it was a remarkable day,” Thompson said.
Now, Thompson can’t wait to report to the Giants on May 11 to begin his quest for an NFL job.
“It’s a challenge,” Thompson said. “Some say it’s an uphill battle, but I see it as another opportunity and I am looking forward to competing.”