Miami Dolphins NFL Draft Prospect: LB Shaq Thompson
By Eric Roddy
Multiple mock drafts thus far have the Miami Dolphins selecting Shaq Thompson, the linebacker out of Washington with the 14th overall selection. For once, I am in complete agreement. Not only would Thompson likely be the best player available when Miami picks at 14 (barring someone dropping out of the top 10), but Thompson would fill one of Miami’s glaring needs.
Let’s face it, the Miami Dolphins linebacker corps was so inconsistent last season that it was disgusting. Aside from Jelani Jenkins and a healthy Koa Misi (which was rare), there was not one consistent linebacker for the Dolphins. Philip Wheeler was awful, and Dannell Ellerbe got hurt, but hasn’t exactly lived up to his contract since coming to Miami. Some of that may be DC Kevin Coyle’s fault, but a lot of it may be the players themselves.
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Enter Shaq Thompson. A 6 foot 1, 228 pound tackling machine that used to play safety. In fact, he was recruited to the University of Washington as a safety, and was converted to the will linebacker position after his freshmen year. In his three years with the Huskies, Shaq totaled 223 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, 5 interceptions and 2 defensive touchdowns. Just by looking at his numbers, he is all over the field, and has the size, speed and athleticism to cover any type of receiver. He could even fill in as a nickel back in some packages if need be.
Bear Goggles On
Thompson’s athletic ability and knowledge of the position would be too much to pass up if he is available at 14 overall. The Dolphins desperately need playmakers on defense, and need athletic linebackers that can tackle in the open field and not get ruined in pass coverage. Adding Thompson would bolster and already talented front seven. And he would most likely be the best player available. It would be a win win for the ‘Fins.