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Shaq Thompson | Linebacker

Team: Washington Huskies
Ht / Wt:  6'2' / 225

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Washington junior OLB Shaq Thompson "is an athletic and versatile linebacker and will receive first round consideration whenever he enters the NFL Draft," according to CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.
"Thompson is an athletic and versatile linebacker and will receive first round consideration whenever he enters the NFL Draft. He will receive some Ryan Shazier comparisons with his speed and nose for the ball, making plays at every level of the field with the versatility to line up inside and outside and handle responsibilities in coverage, vs. the run and blitzing," Brugler wrote. Brugler adds that 6-foot-2, 225-pound Thompson "is an every-down playmaker on defense, something all 32 NFL teams could use." Oct 17 - 4:37 PM

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An AFC scout believes Washington junior OLB Shaq Thompson "is a more natural runner" than UCLA's Myles Jack.

The evaluator believes Thompson should be moved full-time to offense. "I'd make sure he touches it 25 times a game," he said. Thompson ranks No. 6 on the Huskies with nine carries for 84 yards (9.3 yards per carry). But how could Washington possibly hope to replace him on defense? "As one NFC scout told us, Thompson has been a 'playmaking machine' for the Huskies' defense, creating takeaways and being highly disruptive," NFL.com passed along. "Washington has hinted that Thompson will be more involved on offense, but a full-time move to running back? That would be a surprise."
Source: NFL.com
Oct 2 - 2:27 AM

Washington junior OLB Shaq Thompson "could play a handful of positions" in the NFL, notes ESPN's Mel Kiper.

"I use 'OLB' as his position in the NFL, and mention it because Thompson could play a handful of positions given his athletic abilities," Kiper wrote. "On Saturday against Stanford he was again all over the place on defense, causing a pair of fumbles, getting into the backfield to make a play, knocking down a pass. A high school sprinter who initially profiled as a safety who could also take some carries at running back (he was also a star RB in high school), I think Thompson is going to be best as a disruptive pass-rusher who also can drop and play in space. He's simply a playmaker, and a likely first-round pick when he's ready." The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Thompson initially started in the Huskies' secondary as a hybrid nickelback/safety before he moved over to the WILL linebacker position full-time in 2014. Thompson (4.56 forty) is also being used as a running back this season.
Sep 30 - 8:56 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that Washington junior off LOS LB Shaq Thompson has "a lot of positive game tape for NFL scouts to swoon over."

"On the season, Thompson has recorded 35 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, two fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, three defensive scores and a lot of positive game tape for NFL scouts to swoon over," Brugler wrote. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound former safety, switched to weakside linebacker full-time this season and has excelled so far. The Huskies have also utilized Thompson's talent at running back this season.
Source: CBS Sports
Sep 30 - 2:06 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that Washington junior off LOS LB Shaq Thompson "needs to be coached up in several areas before he's ready for the NFL, but his natural skill-set will receive first round grades."

"Like(Ryan)Shazier, he needs coached up in several areas before he's ready for the NFL, but his natural skill-set will receive first round grades," Brugler wrote. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Thompson initially started in the Huskies' secondary as a hybrid nickelback/safety before he moved over to the WILL linebacker position full-time in 2014. Thompson is second on the team with with 28 tackles and has two huge defensive touchdowns, with an interception and fumble recovery both returned for scores in the school's 44-19 win over Illinois. Thompson is also being used as a running back this season.
Source: CBS Sports
Sep 25 - 3:48 PM

Washington junior off LOS LB Shaq Thompson scored on an interception and fumble recovery in the school's 44-19 win over Illinois.

The fumble was returned 52 yards and the interception was for 36 yards. Thompson projects very well to the current NFL, since he will likely play a combo linebacker/safety role. Some might struggle to find a "base" position for Thompson, but teams are in nickel/dime nearly or more than 50 percent of the time. Thompson is also being used as a running back this season.
Sep 14 - 11:18 AM

Hype is growing around Washington junior LB/S Shaq Thompson, according to NFL.com's Bucky Brooks.

"NFL scouts have been buzzing about Thompson's dynamic abilities since he stepped into the spotlight as a standout freshman for the Huskies," Brooks wrote. "The hype is certainly growing after the 6-foot-1, 228-pound junior delivered spectacular production on both sides of the ball during a surprisingly close battle against an FCS opponent. Thompson tallied 14 tackles, a sack and one tackle for loss, while also chipping in 66 rushing yards on three carries as a spot player at running back. Given his effectiveness as a two-way threat, Thompson deserves a mention on a list of top performers." Thompson (4.56 forty) rumbled 57 yards for a touchdown in the nail biter against Eastern Washington. He's a divisive prospect. Some see a sure-fire Round 1 pick, some, such as TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline (who graded Thompson as a Rounds 4-5 prospect), don't see a clear position fit at the next level.
Source: NFL.com
Sep 9 - 4:53 PM

Washington junior LB/S Shaq Thompson made his debut as a running back in Saturday's 59-52 nail biter against Eastern Washington.

His first drive on offense couldn't have gone much better, as the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder trucked 57 yards for a touchdown. Thompson (4.56 forty) finished with 66 yards on three carries. He's a three-down linebacker who can also play well as a cage-rattling safety, and, as he displayed today, be a dangerous running back. This versatility has perhaps made Thompson a controversial prospect, due to the perception that he hasn't mastered any one spot. TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline, for instance, graded Thompson as a Rounds 4-5 prospect earlier this summer, while CBS Sports' Rob Rang ranked him as the No. 17 overall prospect heading into the season.
Sep 6 - 8:50 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang ranks Washington junior LB/S Shaq Thompson as the No. 17 overall prospect.

This is a generous preseason grade from an analyst who clearly believes the Huskies' tweener won't have problems acclimating to the NFL. TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline, for instance, graded Thompson as a Rounds 4-5 prospect earlier this summer. "Since signing with the Huskies as a prep safety, Thompson has grown into a true three-down linebacker, maintaining his agility, speed and open-field tackling skills while improving his strength," Rang wrote. Thompson, 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, runs a 4.56 forty. It will be important for him to keep adding weight if he intends to stick at linebacker (CBS lists Thompson at 231 pounds).
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 26 - 9:56 PM

Washington junior LB/S Shaq Thompson is a "playmaker with great athleticism," according to TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline.

Pauline grades Thompson, listed as a safety, as a Rounds 4-5 prospect. Thompson has primarily been an undersized, 6-foot-2, 225-pound outside linebacker for the Huskies, even though he signed as a safety. CBS Sports' Rob Rang disagrees on Pauline's position projections, noting last month that Thompson is "best suited to the weakside linebacker role in a predominately 4-3 scheme." Thompson is also expected to play some running back in 2014.
Jul 27 - 9:16 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline grades Washington junior LB/S Shaq Thompson as a Rounds 4-5 prospect.

Thompson has primarily been an undersized, 6-foot-2, 225-pound outside linebacker for the Huskies, even though he signed as a safety. Interestingly, Pauline listed him as a safety. Rob Rang of CBS Sports wrote last month that Thompson is "best suited to the weakside linebacker role in a predominately 4-3 scheme." Thompson is also expected to play some running back in 2014.
Jul 13 - 8:02 PM

Washington junior LB Shaq Thompson is "best suited to the weakside linebacker role in a predominately 4-3 scheme," writes Rob Rang of CBS Sports.

"Thompson is an active, aggressive and instinctive defender with excellent agility," Rang wrote. "He reads the action quickly and slithers his way around would-be blockers to make plays all over the field, demonstrating excellent change-of-direction and closing speed. Thompson is surprisingly effective in his punch to greet and discard offensive linemen, though his lack of ideal size and strength can is evident when blockers can get their hands on him." Thompson has primarily been an undersized, 6-foot-2, 225-pound outside linebacker for the Huskies, even though he signed as a safety. Rang believes he can easily add at least 10 more pounds. The star prep running back is additionally expected to moonlight on offense in 2014, much like UCLA's Myles Jack did last season. "Thompson is a very reliable open-field tackler who wraps his arms securely around ball-carriers," Rang wrote. "He arrives in a flash but isn't an explosive hitter."
Source: CBS Sports
Jun 28 - 5:33 PM

Washington junior LB Shaq Thompson "could mimic UCLA's Myles Jack" in his versatility this coming year, writes ESPN's Mel Kiper.

Thompson, a star running back as a prep, began his career at safety before converting to outside linebacker. Like Jack, Thompson is expected to moonlight on offense in 2014. Kiper calls Thompson, who also used to excel in baseball, a "special athlete." Scouts Inc.'s Kevin Weidl called him an "explosive athlete" earlier this week.
May 22 - 8:59 PM

Washington LB Shaq Thompson is "as steady as they come in space," according to Scouts Inc.'s Kevin Weidl.

Thompson has safety and linebacker experience after giving up on baseball and focusing solely on football. It was the correct decision, as Thompson has tons of talent. The Washington defender is an "explosive athlete that covers a lot pasture and closes in a hurry," Weidl tweeted.
May 20 - 10:13 AM

Washington LB coach Peter Sirmon said sophomore DB Shaq Thompson "can be as good as this place has seen in a long, long time."

"He survived on pure ability last year," Sirmon added. "Now he actually knows what he’s doing." Thompson dabbled in minor league baseball prior to the 2012 season and failed miserably, but his future looks extremely bright as a defensive back for the Huskies. "This year, I’m way more comfortable," Thompson said. "I know my assignments on defense; I know what I’m supposed to do on every call."
Sat, Aug 24, 2013 11:22:00 AM