In a recent interview with SI.com's Pete Thamel, Washington coach Chris Peterson said he believes NFL draft prospect Shaq Thompson's best position is running back.
Thompson played safety, linebacker and running back while at Washington and has been considered one of the 2015 draft's most versatile prospects. The 6'0," 228-pound Thompson has said he wants to play outside linebacker in the NFL. NFL.com's Mike Mayock lists him as the No. 2 safety prospect.
"You know, I think he's a safety that drops down like a linebacker," Petersen said. "That's what I think he is. He can tackle like a linebacker. He's pretty explosive. He's a physical guy. I know he sees himself as a linebacker. That's where he spent the last three years. What do I think is his best position? Running back. I know he doesn’t want to do that. He probably wants to play longer. He knows the shelf life of running backs. He's just so unique because he's just a football player."
Thompson recorded 81 tackles and three defensive touchdowns in 2014, while running for 456 yards and two touchdowns on 61 carries. He won the 2014 Paul Hornung Award, which is given to the most versatile player in college football.
As a freshman in 2012, Thompson played nickel back and registered 74 tackles (8.5 for loss), 2.0 sacks and three interceptions.
At the recent NFL combine, Thompson ran a 4.64 second 40-yard dash and recorded a 33.5-inch vertical jump.
- Molly Geary