Thompson happy to be in Cincy, ready for rigors of AFC North

by - Senior Writer -

Former Clemson defensive tackle Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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was picked in the third round (93rd pick overall) of Friday’s NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, trading in one shade of orange and tiger stripes for tiger stripes in a slightly different shade.

Thompson, considered a borderline first round draft, slipped to the third but said that now that the draft is behind him and he knows where he is going to play professionally, he is ready to go to work.

“It’s not really where I expected to go,” Thompson told the media at an introductory press conference Saturday. “At the same time though, I am here and happy to be here. I am ready for the experience and ready to be a great player.”

Thompson was one of the best defensive tackle prospects in the draft, but slipped to the third round as many teams filled their defensive tackle needs early in the draft. One of those early picks was Big Ten Player of the Year Devon Still, the former Penn St. defensive tackle who was taken in the second round as the Bengals tried to shore up their run defense.

Thompson said he had met with the Bengals at the NFL Combine and had spoken with the team recently, but didn’t know they were going to pick him.

“I got to meet with the entire staff that was there at the combine and it was a nice meeting,” he said. “I actually did have contact before yesterday. There wasn’t a visit or anything like that, but they were there for the pro day as well.”

The Bengals play in an AFC North Division that many are calling the new Black and Blue Division, a division that includes perennial physical stalwarts such as Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

Thompson said he is ready for the physical nature of the game.

“I am ready for it. I feel like our strength and conditioning program put me in a great position to be able to lift weights and things like that,” he said. “I am ready to get in a Bengal uniform and do what I have to do.”

He said playing at Clemson has prepared him for the NFL.

“I think it will be a pretty smooth transition coming from where I do,” he said. “I had a great coaching staff and great players at Clemson. That put me in a great situation so when I move to the next level it won’t be a tough transition, but a smooth one.”

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