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Tag Archives: Troy Polomanu

With the NFL Draft less than a month and a half away, there are plenty of players that many draftniks get excited about, but we aren’t quite sure how they will fit at the next level.  One of those shaqattackplayers is Washington’s Shaq Thompson.  He got recruited as a safety and running back, but played much of his college career as a linebacker.  I watched five of his games against BYU, UCLA, Stanford, Oregon State, and Illinois to get a feel for what skills he will bring to an NFL team.  Much like NFLN’s Mike Mayock, I believe he could be a better strong safety than a linebacker.  Scheme and coaching will make their mark too, but here is what I saw:

S/LB Shaq Thompson, Washington 6’ 228 lbs.

Cons: His size is that of a traditional NFL safety, not of a linebacker as he is more long and lean than stout and muscular.  His timed forty at the Combine of 4.64 is not outstanding either, but well within a slower defensive back or slightly above average linebacker.  My first concern is that he prefers to run around blocks instead of stepping up and shedding blockers.  This extra time getting to the ball carrier might not be so costly in college, but it could be the difference between a two yard rush and a twenty yard play.  Thompson makes about half of his tackles right around the ankles; it will be harder to bring down the best runners in the NFL that way.  He is not strong at the point of attack and appears to absorb more force than he delivers.  In pass coverage, the linebacker does well playing zone, but seems to struggle in man to man situations chasing someone all-round the field.  Thompson has a little Troy Polomanu to his game with his gambling tendencies when he instinctively jumps gaps and/or launches himself towards targets when the outcome has not been decided. Read More »

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In fantasy football, there are some new trends that I enjoy writing about: dynasty leagues, and individual defensive player leagues.  This weekly column will combine two of those by discussing two cypyyoung IDPs.  I will give my scouting thoughts on how they played a particular week.  Today I will be discussing Jacksonville safety Jonathan Cyprien and the infamous San Diego linebacker Manti Te’o.

S-Jonathan Cyprien, JAX-This second year safety plays all over the Jacksonville defense as he lined up near the line of scrimmage like an outside backer, but also played some deep middle and off coverage on the opposing tight end.  Cyprien flies around the field quickly using good tackling technique (either wraps the ankles or controls their hips).  He doesn’t give up on plays and is solid in run support.  With the improved play of the Jaguars linebackers, his tackle opportunities decreased.  This shows against the Titans with only three tackles, an assist, and one pass defended. Read More »