INDIANAPOLIS — Shaq Thompson says he’s a linebacker, but NFL teams don’t seem so sure.
The versatile NFL draft prospect played linebacker, safety, running back, nickel cornerback and even punt and kick returner during his three years at Washington. At 6-foot, 228 pounds, teams are torn between projecting him at linebacker and safety at the pro level.
An AFC scout says he likes him as a “big safety” rather than a small linebacker. An NFC linebackers coach considers him a weak-side linebacker at the pro level.
Thompson said playing running back is “out of the question.” He averaged 7.5 yards per carry during his junior season with the Huskies, rushing for 456 yards on 61 carries.
The 20-year-old had 52 tackles this season and proved to be a playmaker on defense, forcing three fumbles, recovering four and intercepting a pass. He had two offensive touchdowns and four defensive scores.
The New England Patriots held an informal interview with Thompson, who is the type of versatile prospect that they usually love. The Patriots might need to trade up if they hope to select the Washington prospect, however, who is likely to be selected in the first round, where the Patriots hold the last pick.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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