Tyrus Thompson NFL bio

The history of Minnesota Vikings sixth-round draft pick Tyrus Thompson.

Tyrus Thompson
Offensive Tackle
University of Oklahoma Sooners
Pasadena, Texas
Pflugerville High School

Thompson has shed close to 15 pounds since the end of his senior season, more so to show scouts his impressive quickness and burst in postseason action. He was a two-year starter at left tackle, taking over when Lane Johnson left for the National Football League as a first-round selection by the Philadelphia Eagles. He has proven to be a highly capable pass protector, but still needs some drive blocking technique refinement.

It is not as if Thompson can be manhandled by the bigger, more physical defensive line- men, as it is evident that he is one of the strongest players eligible for the draft at his position. He possesses very powerful legs that knock defenders back off the line of scrimmage with pure strength, but he sometimes exposes his chest to the opponent and has to reset his hands in order to generate and maintain maximum inside control.

A family man and one of the few married players on the Sooners team Thompson and his wife Olivia-Elyse are the proud parents with a son, King, and a daughter, Aria-Elyse. The son of Raymond and Yolanda Thompson, the left tackle was born in Germany while his father was stationed abroad as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army. When it came to choosing his jersey number, he did it in honor of the year his mother was born.

Thompson was a two-way lineman at Pflugerville High School, where he earned four-star recruit status from Scout.com. Scout.com considered him the state’s 29th-best overall prospect.

Thompson first managed to capture the attention of recruiters as far back as his sophomore year. That season, he recorded 38 tackles with 11 stops behind the line of scrimmage from his defensive end position. He was so determined to become an Oklahoma Sooner that he committed to the university during his prep junior season.

Thompson would have to wait until 2011 to get into his first college game, as the Oklahoma coaches decided to red-shirt him after he enrolled at the school in 2010. In his debut, he made just five appearances behind Lane Johnson and Donald Stephenson at left tackle.

Thompson would remain a reserve at left tackle for eight games in 2012 before earning two starting assignments on the left side vs. Baylor and Iowa State for an injured Lane Johnson and the Sooners’ final three contests vs. Oklahoma State, Texas Christian and Texas A&M on the right side after Daryl Williams was injured vs. West Virginia.

With Johnson gone to the NFL, Thompson took over left tackle chores as a junior. He started 11 games, making 58 knockdowns with 10 touchdown-resulting blocks. Ironically, it was against the same opponent that Daryl Williams was injured in 2012 (West Virginia) where the left tackle would suffer what first appeared to be a gruesome ankle fracture. An MRI revealed it to be a Lisfranc injury in his foot that would force him to miss the Oklahoma State game and Sugar Bowl vs. Alabama. He would undergo surgery to repair and sat out spring practices in 2014.

Thompson returned to the trench wars in 2014 and along with Daryl Williams on the right side, the Sooners front wall did a brilliant job of protecting the quarterback. Neither of the bookends allowed any sacks during the regular season before Clemson’s Vic Beasley got past the left tackle to record a sack in the Russell Athletic Bowl. He finished with a blocking consistency grade of 86.38% with seventeen touchdown-resulting blocks on a line that combined to yield only nine sacks, the lowest figure in college for the ’14 season.

(Photos from USA TODAY Sports)

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