Kansas City Chiefs Scouting Reports: Shaq Thompson


With 10 picks in the 2015 NFL Draft, Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey could become tempted by one of the more interesting defensive talents in college football: Washington’s Shaq Thompson.

The first question Shaq Thompson must answer in the NFL, and to Kansas City Chiefs personnel men, is, “What position does he play?”

Our own Leigh Oleszczak considered the possibility of the Kansas City Chiefs drafting Thompson earlier this off-season. She viewed him as an outside linebacker.

However, some personnel men think his high school position of safety would be his best fit in the NFL.


The 6’0″ 228 lb. Thompson lined up at inside linebacker, outside linebacker, and safety for University of Washington. Scouts are divided on what is his best position in the NFL.

However, that might be getting caught up in a semantic question. In a league that has increasingly used shifting offensive sets, traditional position definitions are something of a worthless exercise. Defensive coordinators need players who possess various skills that can be used in multiple ways to combat creative offenses around the league.

More from Chiefs Draft Analysis

Shaq Thompson is a guy that can make plays. I’m certain that Kansas City Chiefs defensive boss Bob Sutton would love to have such a versatile asset.

CBS Sports says that Thompson is aggressive and instinctive. He shows rare ability to evade blockers, which allows him to make plays all over the field. However, he isn’t an explosive hitter.

CBS Sports also notes that he “looks more like a safety” but he hasn’t regularly played the position since high school. They list Thompson as an outside linebacker because his vision and agility could make him effective on the pass blitz.

NFL.com’s Mike Mayock sees Shaq Thompson as a safety. NFL.com’s draft profile notes that Thompson won the Paul Hornung award for college football’s most versatile player. Not only did Shaq Thompson line up at linebacker and safety at Washington, he also has started at tailback.

NFL.com writes:

"Long, twitchy athlete with outstanding range to become a highly restrictive defender. Able to make plays well outside of his area against both the run and pass. With his big-play potential, Thompson could become a unique chess piece in the hands of the right defensive coordinator, but there are a growing number of teams that are beginning to struggle with whether to project Thompson as a safety or 4-3 outside linebacker."

Shaq Thompson could be the ultimate hybrid player that makes the Kansas City Chiefs defense dangerous. He returned 3 fumbles and 1 interception for touchdowns during his collegiate career.


[table id=8 /]

Along with his combine results, Shaq Thompson pumped out 20 reps on the 225 lbs. bench press at his pro day.


NFL.com believes Shaq Thompson will either a 2nd or 3rd round pick. CBS Sports sees him as a clear 2nd round talent.

I would be happy if the Kansas City Chiefs took him as their second round pick. The Chiefs need help in run defense, and I think Thompson could bring both playmaking and run-stuffing ability as a hybrid safety/linebacker on passing downs.

Next: Adrian Amos Scouting Report

More from KC Kingdom