Thompson went through the disappointment of not getting drafted in the recent NFL draft, but soon after the draft he signed a free agent contract with the New York Jets. Will Paul be the next Broadway Joe? First things first, he just wants to be a New York Jet.
Thompson is working hard getting ready for mini-camp, but slowed down just enough to talk to OUInsider.com for the Two Minute Drill.
JH: How did you wind up with the New York Jets?
PT: "I spend most of the weekend watching the daft and as it neared the end of the draft, a couple of teams got in touch with me and said if I wasn't drafted in the sixth or seventh round that they were definitely interested in a free agent contract. I was getting contacted by the Jets as well as a couple of other teams and my decision ultimately came down to the Jets."
JH: So you did have some options in free agency?
PT: "Right. At the end of the draft, it gets kind of hectic so you want to make sure you are somewhere that you can find out information and fish around a little bit. They are trying to fill spots quickly so you want to definitely make sure that you have somewhere to play before the dust settles. So, we were talking to a couple of teams and we just wanted to make sure we picked the best team for me and we feel we fit in with the Jets well. I guess I went through a little recruiting thing again. I committed to the Jets before the dust settled and eventually signed a free agent contract with them."
JH: How disappointed were you that you didn't go in the draft?
PT: "It was a little disappointing, but at the same time everybody that gets drafted still has to earn a spot on the team just like I do. I believe that all I need is the opportunity to get in there and show the guys what I can do. A lot of them don't know me as a person well and they haven't seen much of me. So to get in there and let them see me personally day-in and day-out through practice, I think it will make a big difference."
JH: Why do you think you weren't drafted?
PT: "There is a lot that goes into it. One thing was that a lot of teams were looking at me as a receiver and some teams had me at quarterback. The teams that had me at receiver obviously didn't have me as high as the teams who had me at quarterback. Then, I only played quarterback for one year and that was looked at. They look at a lot of different things and there are a lot of other factors that go into it. I could go on and on about that as far as past history of quarterbacks from certain universities, how many years I started and a lot of other factors are used to determine where a player gets drafted, or if he gets drafted. All in all, I am happy to be with the Jets and happy for the opportunity to get out there and show them what I got."
JH: What went into your decision to sign with the Jets?
PT: "Again, it was kind of a quick decision towards the end because those spots are being filled. You want to go somewhere you are comfortable. In speaking with my agent, he felt they had a good quarterback coach who could help me to adapt to the NFL level. He wants me to fit in there comfortably. That and getting in there and getting on the field as soon as possible factored into it as well."
JH: What have the Jets told you about the number of quarterbacks they will keep on their roster?
PT: "I am not really sure. I am going to speak with my agent this afternoon and just try to confirm some things because things were kind of hectic around here yesterday afternoon. I am not exactly sure what the Jets' situation is at quarterback right now, except I know they have three guys on the roster and I make a least a fourth."
JH: Was depth chart much of a consideration in your decision?
PT: "Yeah, I have looked at it. But when it was going on and I was talking to the teams I didn't really have a chance to go to every website and pop-up a depth chart. My agent has that information and knew that information when they made decisions for me. I put my trust in them in helping me make a decision."
JH: It seems you have always had to prove yourself, and once again you have to prove to everyone that you can play in the NFL.
PT: "Right, exactly. I enjoy proving myself and going out there and showing guys what I am capable of. I have never liked anything handed to me or given to me. I get more gratification out of earning something. I am definitely confident in my abilities. I have been through the combine and I have seen the other guys, and I am on their same level. I am not worried about making a team and being successful in the NFL."
JH: How are workouts going and do you think you are ready for mini-camp?
PT: "Oh, definitely. I am still in Austin and I am going to hang around here for a couple more days before getting back to Norman in the next couple of days. Then I will get back on my training schedule and I am excited about it. I report to mini-camp May 13th so I have a couple of weeks to really refine my training."