NFL Draft: Carolina Panthers select Shaq Thompson


After waiting a couple of hours in the Windy City, the Carolina Panthers made their move in the 2015 NFL Draft by selecting Shaq Thompson from the University of Washington with the 25th overall pick.

Thompson, a 6’0″ powerhouse coming in a 228 pounds, provides diversity and unmatched flexibility for a Panthers team who is in need of a player like that on defense.

The Huskies had him mainly playing in the box as a linebacker and even some time at safety, which could come in handy should Carolina be lacking in the secondary like they were last season.

He even played some running back last season for Washington, further adding to his repertoire.

He was a strong leader and big-time playmaker for the Huskies, scoring on three fumble returns and an interception on his way to a first-team All-American season in 2014. He also won the Paul Hornung Award, for the nation’s most versatile player.

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  • In the combine, Thompson was a top performer in the 20-yard shuttle (4.08 sec) and ran a 4.64 in the 40-yard dash.

    Despite this, scouts have claimed that the flexibility could be a huge weakness in that he is jack of all trades, but a master of none. It seems that GM Dave Gettleman liked what he saw of Thompson, and thinks that head coach Ron Rivera could make it work.

    It’s unclear of where he’ll end up in Carolina’s scheme, but many believe that he’ll line up right along with Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly if he’s not backing up A.J. Klein in the box.

    Rivera made that point perfectly clear soon after the selection.

    This looks like it could certainly add some intrigue to the Panthers defense as the season nears.

    What do you think readers? Did Carolina make the right call? Who should be in the Panthers’ crosshairs later on in the draft?

    Next: Carolina Panthers: Best Available, Need, or Both?