NFL Hot Press: Multiple Teams Issue Second-Day Grade for Shaq Thompson

Multiple Teams Issue Second-Day Grade for Shaq Thompson

Updated Dec. 18, 2014
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Washington’s Shaq Thompson was one of the players who received a lot of acclaim this season. The biggest reason for that was that the athletic linebacker took over duties as a running back for the Washington offense for a few weeks. With his contributions on offense and defense generating headlines, some draft pundits projected Thompson to go high in the first round. However, two teams we’ve spoken to say that they are grading Thompson as a day-two pick.

I’ve had Thompson listed as a day-two prospect because he hasn’t had a season of big production. The 6-foot-1, 228-pound Thompson is fast and athletic, but he’s never produced a big year. Entering his Bowl game against Oklahoma State, Thompson has 71 tackles, two tackles for a loss, one sack, four passes broken up, one interception and three forced fumbles. As a tailback, he averaged 7.5 yards per carry for 456 yards and two touchdowns.

Thompson is a Will (weak side) linebacker for a 4-3 defense, but isn’t as good of a prospect as Lavonte David, who was a second-round pick. After asking a few teams, they felt that Thompson was worthy of a top-100 selection. One scouting director said, “I agree with you, not in Lavonte David category, but will get drafted in the second or third based on athletic ability. Shaq is a 4-3 Will linebacker.” We followed up with a general manager of a team that could use Thompson, and is interested in him. He also felt that Thompson was a second- or third-rounder.

Thompson is weighing his options on whether to declare for the draft. It only takes one team to feel that Thompson is a first-rounder and pull the trigger on him on Thursday night, but scouts and personnel men from multiple teams have Thompson as a second-day pick.

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