Vikings Are Looking at Shaq Thompson as a Linebacker


It looks like the great Shaq Thompson position question has been settled once and for all. According to Shaq Thompson, he is a linebacker.

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Not only does Thompson consider himself a linebacker, he says teams are talking to him about playing linebacker. And that’s it. He’s not a safety. And he’s not a running back.

To be even more specific, Thompson says teams are looking at him as a 3-4 ILB or a Will backer in the 4-3.

Thompson said (via ESPN) that he has spoken to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and LB coach Adam Zimmer at the combine. The Vikings have needs at both safety and Will linebacker, but Thompson would not be an option at safety if everything we’re hearing is correct.

Some analysts, including Mike Mayock, rank Thompson among the best safety prospects in the draft. What are his prospects as a linebacker?

That all depends on the system. The Vikings’ system would seem to be a good fit for Thompson, who measured in at 6-0, 228 pounds at the combine. What they need is a player who can attack downfield, make tackles and cover tight ends and backs out of the backfield.

Last year Chad Greenway played the Will and looked every bit the aging player. The Vikings also gave Gerald Hodges a long look at that position and he showed some skills.

Thompson is on another level physically than either Hodges or certainly Greenway. Adding him to a young defense that already includes playmakers like Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith, Sharrif Floyd and Everson Griffen would be very interesting indeed.

Forget about positions, just get players. Mike Zimmer will figure out how to make the pieces fit.

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