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Shaq Thompson | Linebacker

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

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NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said Washington OLB Shaq Thompson's forty time was "a little slower than I expected."
Thompson (6-foot 1/8, 228 pounds) clocked a 4.64. He added a 33.5-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 9-8. All those numbers are below what was expected of Thompson, an exceptional athlete. Mayock called him "a first-round talent" and said he can see Thompson as a safety who shifts to linebacker on third downs. Feb 23 - 11:45 PM
Source: NFL.com

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NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt reports he spoke with two NFL teams that believe Washington OLB Shaq Thompson's "position in NFL has to be SS."

"Had excellent workouts, really smart," Brandt added. Interestingly, NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock also sees Thompson as a safety (Thompson is Mayock's second-best rated player at the position). Thompson prefers to play linebacker, but safety -- and also running back -- are possible destinations in the NFL. "I'm gonna put it out there that I want to play linebacker. But I can't say no to (safety)," Thompson said Friday. "I like to be up by the line of scrimmage. I feel like I'm physical enough. I'm not the biggest guy, but I have a lot of heart."
Source: NFL.com
Feb 23 - 2:38 PM

Updating a previous item, Washington's Shaq Thompson will only work out at LB at the NFL Combine.

In fact Thompson said running back is out of the question in terms of NFL reps. NFL.com previously reported Thompson and Blake Sims would go through RB drills, but neither did. Teams likely requested the multiple position workouts, however, players can turn down the requests. Some will question Thompson at linebacker in terms of size. We do not.
Feb 21 - 3:34 PM

Washington LB Shaq Thompson could turn "into a Lavonte David-type of defender," believes NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt.

"Everyone wants to find out if Thompson, who will work out as a linebacker and a defensive back, has a position," Brandt wrote. "Does he have the coverage skills to play safety? Does he have the kind of body that will allow him to put on the additional weight needed to play linebacker?" Thompson finished his collegiate career with 233 tackles, five interceptions, 3.5 sacks and 456 rushing yards on 7.5 yards per carry. He scored six times this past season; twice on offense and four times on defense.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 20 - 6:39 PM

Washington LB Shaq Thompson will also work out at RB.

Thompson, per Daniel Jeremiah, previously stated he would not go through RB drills. Something changed, and it might have involved Thompson's representation. We think the Washington product is a far superior player on defense than he is on offense.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 20 - 10:18 AM

NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said that Washington LB Shaq Thompson "is one of the most fun guys to watch on tape this year."

"I know GMs were looking at him as a running back, linebacker and safety, most teams as a linebacker," Mayock said. "I've got him as a safety. I think he can be a Kam Chancellor-type on first down in your base and then drop down and play linebacker in your dime, and that's really important in today's world." Thompson said recently that he will decline to participate in RB drills even if a team requests it. He feels most comfortable at strong side linebacker.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 17 - 8:52 PM

Washington LB Shaq Thompson would decline going through RB drills if a team requested it, according to NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah.

We aren't sure if this is just in relation to the NFL Combine or future private workouts. Some might request defensive back drills, too. Thompson has stated he feel most comfortable at strong side linebacker.
Feb 15 - 2:23 PM

An AFC North scout isn't sure Washington LB Shaq Thompson can keep his weight up enough to stick at LB in the pros.

"He was 219 pounds when I visited late in the season. I'm concerned about whether he will be able to keep enough weight on to be a 4-3 WILL. Until I see him actually play deep as a safety, I'm not sure that is a projection I'm comfortable making," the scout said. NFL Media's Mike Mayock ranks Thompson as the No. 2 S, though Thompson is most comfortable at strong side LB. "He'll need to add mass to his frame -- he is listed at 228 pounds, but played under that weight at times -- and despite his high motor, he lacks the play strength to back up his intentions near the line of scrimmage," wrote NFL.com's Lance Zierlein. "Still, he's a long, twitchy linebacker with good athleticism and big-play potential and could become a unique chess piece in the hands of the right defensive coordinator."
Source: NFL.com
Feb 13 - 2:08 AM

Washington's Shaq Thompson's "quickness and agility will likely stand out during drills at Lucas Oil Stadium," notes CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.

"Thompson played on both offense (running back) and defense (linebacker) for the Huskies with versatile athleticism and skills for a 230-pounder," Brugler wrote. NFL Media's Mike Mayock ranks Thompson as the No. 2 safety in the class. Thompson himself previously said he feels most comfortable at strong side LB. We don't think the label matters much. Whatever his position, Thompson should be given free reign to seek and destroy, as well as handle tight ends and bigger receivers in coverage.
Source: CBS Sports
Feb 12 - 9:44 PM

NFL Media's Mike Mayock believes Washington's Shaq Thompson is the No. 2 S prospect in the 2015 class.

Mayock ranks Landon Collins as the No. 1 safety. This is on the heels of Thompson insisting he is a linebacker, not a safety. Either way, positions are only a label. If NFL teams use Thompson appropriately, which is not a certainty, he should be asked to run and chase as well as cover tight ends or walk out to shade multiple receiver sets.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 12 - 12:57 PM

Washington's Shaq Thompson attempted to end the debate on his position, saying he feels most comfortable at strong side LB.

"But I want to put it out there: I'm a linebacker. Outside linebacker," Thompson wrote. "Strong side, that's where I feel most comfortable. It's basically like a strong safety... You need linebackers who can cover and drop in zone. And I'm a three-down player." We agree. Many classify heftier linebackers playing the strong side, and although that might have been true in the past when defending against the run it is not so in passing situations. The strong side backers will play on top of tight ends of shaded to extra receivers. Either way, Thompson's role will be more important than his actual position title.
Source: USA Today
Feb 11 - 10:16 AM

Washington LB/RB Shaq Thompson provides "unmatched diversity in this year's draft," wrote NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

"Played outside and inside as a linebacker and took snaps at safety against Stanford," Zierlein wrote. "Long, with athleticism and movement of running back playing linebacker. Like a magnet to the ball while pursuing in space. Second gear to finish the chase. Fluid enough in space that safety could be a position consideration for the right team. Can be used as emergency No. 3 running back on game day." Thompson was a first-team AP All-American this past season. He finished with 81 tackles, one interception, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and four defensive touchdowns, and also averaged 124 yards per contest in three games as the starting RB, gaining 7.5 YPC.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 3 - 7:42 PM

SB Nation's Dan Kadar had Washington LB/RB Shaq Thompson slipping out of the first round in a recent mock draft.

"It’s just hard to find a spot for a player without a real true position," Kadar wrote. "Thompson is slotted as a weak-side outside linebacker in a 4-3. But how much value does that position really have in the draft? Ryan Shazier was picked highly from that position last year, but he’s a much better player than Thompson. It’s also no guarantee Thompson stays at linebacker. Some teams might see him as a safety. There have even been reports that some teams prefer him at running back. Basically, more work needs to be done on Thompson." The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Thompson is seen by most as an NFL OLB, though NFL.com's Lance Zierlein recently said Thompson "could play SS" in the pros. Thompson was a first-team AP All-American this past season. He finished with 81 tackles, one interception, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and four defensive touchdowns, and also averaged 124 yards per contest in three games as the starting RB, gaining 7.5 YPC.
Source: SB Nation
Feb 2 - 10:33 PM

NFL.com's Lance Zierlein believes Washington junior LB/RB Shaq Thompson "is small for the position, but he is a freakish athlete."

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Thompson is supremely versatile and has the ability to handle the RB, OLB and S positions. Most draft evaluators, however, see him as an NFL OLB. Zierlein notes that Thompson "could play SS," but he doesn't think he would. The analyst believes the Huskies prospect will "keep growing and will be around 230-232" at the next level.
Jan 9 - 3:50 PM

An NFL scout called Washington junior LB/RB Shaq Thompson a "freak athlete," but said it’s hard to grade him as a certain Round 1 pick because of his uncertain position.

"His versatility is pretty spectacular with everything he can do," another scout said. "When he played running back for them, it seemed like he’d been playing there the whole time. He’s a good athlete, very instinctive and tough. But, for me, he’s tough to (evaluate) because he is that ‘tweener — he’s not the ideal size for a linebacker or a safety. He’s probably more of a natural linebacker, but he needs to develop his hand use and shielding blocks better. That’s going to be a challenge for him (in the NFL)." Still another scout speaking with the Seattle Times believes Thompson is best suited for running back duties in the NFL. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Thompson was a first-team AP All-American. He finished with 81 tackles, one interception, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and four defensive touchdowns, and also averaged 124 yards per contest in three games as the starting RB, gaining 7.5 yards per attempt.
Jan 5 - 8:55 PM