Scouting Report: Shaq Thompson, LB/S

There is a lot to like about Shaq Thompson's game, but would he make sense for the Patriots?

There is a lot to like about Shaq Thompson’s game, but would he make sense for the Patriots?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

First off, I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season.  It was a great early gift last Monday night when the Broncos lost and gave the Patriots home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  The Patriots go into week 17 without the pressure of having to win, but they need to use this week to clean up some things, especially on offense.  Again, the offensive line has looked out of sorts and the defense didn’t exactly look its best either so I decided to focus on someone who could potentially help out the defense this time around. Name: Shaq Thompson

School: University of Washington (JR.)

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 230 Lbs.

Positives:

Willing to do anything on the field to make his team better, Thompson is the consummate football player.  He has played multiple positions in college including LB, S, and RB, and is a special teams demon.  He is a smart player who shows the ability to diagnose plays quickly and react to the play without hesitation.  Thompson is a smooth athlete with a good combination of straight-line burst and lateral agility and he takes good angles when asked to drop into coverage.  He is a play maker with an innate ability to create game changing plays and turnovers.  He is also very active and aggressive and never takes a play off.  Despite his small size, Thompson has shown the ability to shed offensive lineman while still making the tackle and work through trash with his eyes up and make plays.

 

Negatives:

Thompson’s size is his biggest issue at the next level.  If he were several inches taller and 25 pounds heavier, we would be talking about him as a potential #1 pick.  In college, Thompson has been a player without a true position.  His skill set is best suited for LB, but his size may force him to move permanently to safety.  If you watch his film, you will see that he has to make a lot of his tackles by diving for knees rather than wrapping them up.  He is a very good tackler, but the lack of “sand in the pants” could be an issue in the NFL.

 

Overall:

There is so much to like about Shaq Thompson.  He is all over the field making plays and has overcome his size deficiencies to become a great college player.  He can get after the quarterback and play in coverage.  Thompson is very smart and has great instincts on the field, which is one of his best assets.  Obviously his size is a major concern and what position he will ultimately play in the NFL is still up for debate, but we have seen players with size limitations be successful at the next level in the past.  If the Patriots decide to not bring Jerod Mayo back, the linebacker could be a position that they seriously consider in the early rounds of the draft.  I give Thompson a late first round grade, but I think he may go higher.

 

 

4 Responses to “Scouting Report: Shaq Thompson, LB/S”

  1. acm says:

    I can see where Russell is going with Thompson being probably too small for what the Pats generally go for at LB. This being said, he is not too far off being 6’1″, 240lbs, which seems to be a ‘popular’ size for some of the best MLB in the NFL today – Willis, Bowman, Wagner, etc, etc.
    Does that mean I expect the Pats to take him in the 1st, if available? No, I don’t, but I also don’t expect him to be available in late 1st anyway.

  2. Russell says:

    I like Thompson alot as a S in the NFL, but don’t think a LB, maybe. If the Patriots go for a LB I look for them to go for a guy like LB Jeff Luc (Cincinnati) 6’1″ 255 lbs. I have Thompson going to Cleveland in the 1st round, (second pick) in my Mock at draftsite.com (pattryout)

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Hey Russell,
      I ran into your mock draft on another site under the same name. I knew it was you because it had both Vereen and Tull in it for the pats. I don’t think Thompson will be available when the Patriots draft but he was a guy that I ended up seeing so much of doing other prospects that I wanted to get my thoughts on him out there. He does a lot of things you would want a prospect to do, it will all depend on if he can hold up in the NFL despite his size.
      Thanks again for reading my posts and commenting, it has been fun discussing these players with you.

      • Freemanator says:

        I agree with you. Would love to draft him, but doubt he drops within reasonable trade up range. He’d make a great addition to our front seven, giving us crazy rush/drop versatility with him Mayo, Collins and HT.

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