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2015 NFL Draft: Eagles showing interest in versatile prospect Shaq Thompson

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Philadelphia is showing some level of interest in the versatile prospect.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, the Philadelphia Eagles are one of the many teams showing interest in 2015 NFL Draft prospect Shaq Thompson.

"Thompson has either visited with, worked out privately or is scheduled to with seven other clubs: the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles."

As you can see, it's not clear whether Thompson actually visited (or will visit) the Eagles in Philadelphia but it's clear the team will have met with him before the end of the month.

It's not a shock to see the Eagles interested in this defensive prospect. The 6-2, 231 pound junior is an intriguing player. He's certainly versatile; he played at running back, linebacker, and safety in college. He finished his career at Washington with 146 tackles, 3.5 sacks, five interceptions, two passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and a total of five defensive touchdowns scored. As a rusher, he scored two touchdowns and gained 456 yards on 61 carries for a whopping 7.5 average.

It's not perfectly clear where Thompson will line up in the NFL. Some team have been working him out at both linebacker and safety. Thompson has said that his "heart is at linebacker" but he's open to being a strong safety in the Kam Chancellor mold. He said he's not open to playing running back.

While it's unclear how the Eagles view Thompson, it's worth nothing NFL analyst Mike Mayock thinks the 20-year-old prospect could be a safety for Philadelphia. Mayock actually ranks Thompson as his No. 2 safety behind Landon Collins at No. 1.

Here's a scouting report on Thompson via NFL.com.

"Strengths - Unmatched diversity in this year's draft. Played outside and inside as a linebacker and took snaps at safety against Stanford. Gained 456 yards rushing, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Long, with athleticism and movement of running back playing linebacker. Like a magnet to the ball while pursuing in space. Second gear to finish the chase. Wins over top of second-level linemen. Can sink and search for cutback lanes as back-side defender against stretch plays. Glides laterally from gap to gap when playing inside. Reads the quarterback's eyes and shades the throwing lane as zone defender. Transitions easily from pursuit to coverage against play-action. Can cover running backs out of backfield. Instinctive with plus vision and twitch to make the big play. Scored four defensive touchdowns and forced three fumbles in 2014. Frequently attempts to strip ball. Fluid enough in space that safety could be a position consideration for the right team. Can be used as emergency No. 3 running back on game day. Had 19 tackles on special teams over last two seasons in kick and punt coverage. Football intelligence to process offensive and defensive playbooks. Strong work ethic and team-oriented player.

Weaknesses - Scouts question his natural NFL fit. Needs more mass on his frame. Played under listed weight at times. Aggressive, but lacks the play strength to back up his intentions near the line of scrimmage. Fails to consistently leverage his gap when forced inside box. Too easily redirected as blitzer. Gets blasted out of gaps by pulling guards. Must develop hands to keep linemen off of him and improve at slipping blocks. Not fully utilizing explosiveness. Fails to fire downhill and attack on the other side of the line. Ducks head into contact and will lose sight of the ball. Shoulder hitter in space rather than wrap-up tackler. Motor lets up at times when pace quickens.

Bottom Line - 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."

Here are his measurements via Mockdraftable.

ILB

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