Over the past few seasons, Jason Candle and UT’s football program boasted more and more Toledo Rocket football players being selected in the NFL Draft.
This year, the 2019 draft will likely be no different for Candle and Rocket standouts Cody Thompson and Diontae Johnson. Both historic Toledo receivers fully expect to be drafted by an NFL team on Thursday.
Thompson leaves Toledo on a number of the career-receiving records list. He is 10th all-time in program history for receptions, second all-time in total receiving yards and number one in touchdowns.
Thompson and Johnson have been key cogs in the recent success of the Toledo football program that won a MAC title a season ago. The explosive tandem combined for 97 catches, 1,408 yards and 18 touchdowns in the 2018, a campaign that saw the Rockets go 7-6 and Johnson nabbing a First-Team All-MAC selection.
In 2017, Johnson posted an impressive season after his Thompson was down for the season with an ACL injury. Johnson flourished with 74 catches, 1,278 yards and 13 touchdowns as the go-to playmaker for the Rocket offense.
Thompson’s career came in the 2016 season. During a season when the Rockets’ offense had the talent of Kareem Hunt and Michael Roberts, two current NFL-starting caliber players, Thompson posted a stellar season with 64 catches, 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Both players will be missed by the Toledo football program, but their success at this level is a testament to the program Candle has built in his time at Toledo.
Depending on the mock drafts you look at, Johnson and Thompson vary in where they may be selected. Many teams have been enamored with the speed and talent that these two MAC standouts provide.
Johnson, a redshirt third-year from Florida, had a better-than-expected NFL combine. The best of his numbers came in the 40-yard dash, in which he posted a 4.53. Whereas Thompson ran a 4.57 in the 40-yard dash, another respectable mark.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com projected Johnson to be drafted between the fourth and fifth rounds, and compared him to NFL wideout Emmanuel Sanders, a Super Bowl champion.
In another prospect piece, Zierlein predicted Thompson to be drafted between the sixth and seventh rounds.
Statistically, Johnson and Thompson have made a lasting impression in Toledo football history, and fans should tune into the 2019 NFL Draft this weekend to stay updated on where these two end up.