NFL Draft 2015: Shaq Thompson Will Reportedly Visit Vikings


Washington Huskies linebacker/safety/all-around defensive stud Shaq Thompson has been linked to the Vikings in draft speculation almost from day one.

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Thompson seems the most natural of natural fits in Mike Zimmer’s defense, which emphasizes versatility, and could slide right in as a day-1 starter at Will linebacker. At least that’s the way folks see it on the outside.

On the inside…there is at least some interest in Thompson. The Vikings reportedly met with Thompson at the combine and now according to Darren Wolfson they will have him in for a visit.

Discussion on Thompson initially centered around the question of whether he’d be a safety or a linebacker in the NFL, but that conversation was shut down when Thompson revealed at the combine that he was working out exclusively as a linebacker.

As a Will backer, Thompson has the downhill ferocity to be a run stopper and the fluidity and coverage skills to play the nickel.

Thompson is undersized but the prevailing opinion among scouts is that teams these days are less concerned about size in linebackers and more focused on finding guys who can cover. sees a comparison between Thompson and a current Detroit Lions linebacker:

"COMPARES TO: DeAndre Levy, Detroit Lions — Like Levy, Thompson lacks the size and explosiveness scouts might prefer at linebacker. Fluidity and awareness in coverage at the linebacker position are more important in today’s pass-heavy NFL than ever before, making each a potential building block in a 4-3 alignment."

The Vikings’ recent acquisition of former Bengals S Taylor Mays may give a hint as to Thompson’s potential role in Zimmer’s scheme. Mays was used as a rover in Cincinnati, a player with safety skills lining up at nickel linebacker, and Thompson would seem to fit this bill as well.

The difference is that Thompson is good enough to play every down as a Will linebacker, making him potentially valuable enough to consider drafting in the first round.

Next: Taylor Mays Likely to Take On Rover Role for Mike Zimmer

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