by Marco Imperati | Featured Columnist
A few days away from the NFL Combine, many opinions and analysis will be given shared on the hundreds of players that will be in attendance in Indianapolis. A stop watch could be the difference of millions of dollars and the future of 32 NFL franchises.
One of the most polarizing players, not only this year, but in many years that I remember is Linebacker (or is he?) Shaq Thompson, out of the University of Washington.
There are a variety of reasons I am most interested in this player. In regards to the New York Giants, linebacker, safety or just plain out best impact defensive player is all in the cards for the team. The most interesting aspect about Thompson is that he has played all of those positions in college.
Add running back to his resume as well. Currently, he is being projected as a linebacker in the NFL. However, highly regarded draft and combine analyst Mike Mayock revealed his positional rankings and won’t find Thompson ranked in Mayock’s top linebackers. Keep strolling, and you’ll see Thompson as Mayock’s number 2 safety behind Alabama’s Landon Collins.
I am so intrigued by this player because I think at the combine, he will test off the charts. That isn’t the concern. It’s finding the right formula to highlight Shaq’s beast-like skills. The team that drafts him in the 1st round will get scrutinized, but when a good team that understands defense picks him, it could be a great pick with an immediate return.
When I think about Thompson, I think about Seattle’s safety enforcer Deone Buchanon. Thompson is a guy who can roam around, come down in the box and be a presence as a linebacker. When turnovers are forced, I urge all Giants fans to go to YouTube and check out what Shaq Thompson(Click name for highlights) is able to do when the ball is in his hands.
Last year, the Giants selected Odell Beckham Jr. who was just coming off winning the Paul Hornung Award which is annually given to the most versatile player in major college football.
This year’s winner? You guessed it…Shaq Thompson.