2015 NFL Draft: Top five most versatile prospects

The bigger question for NFL clubs with some draft prospects isn't whether they can make a roster, but at what position they can make the most impact. Even with the most versatile prospects, the team that drafts them will know exactly where it plans to play them. But not every team will view them in quite the same way. A look at five of the NFL draft's most versatile:



The No. 1 player in the draft can play all over the defensive line. Inside, he can disrupt rushing attacks with a quickness and agility rarely seen in 300-pound linemen. On the outside, he can get to the quarterback with similar effectiveness. Also scheme-versatile, Williams could be a fit as a 4-3 defensive tackle, most likely at the 3-technique position, but he also has the skill set to play end for a 3-4 team.
NFL fit:Tennessee Titans. The expectation that Tennessee will make Williams the No. 2 pick of the draft is almost as high as quarterback Jameis Winston going No. 1 to the Buccaneers. If Tennessee passes, he won't fall far.

2. Shaq Thompson, Washington

Thompson was the two-way darling of college football last year, playing linebacker and running back for the Huskies, but as a draft prospect, he's viewed as a defensive player. Nevertheless, he's still considered versatile enough to play either outside linebacker or strong safety at the pro level and it's hard to imagine he won't make an impact on special teams, as well. Most likely, he'll end up at linebacker. But if the team that drafts him needs a run-support safety to play more in the box than in coverage, Thompson could fit the bill.
NFL fit:Minnesota Vikings. How would Thompson and Anthony Barr as an outside linebacker tandem look in Minnesota? The Vikings could use an upgrade, or at least some competition, opposite their 2014 first-round pick.



3. Tony Lippett, Michigan State

Unlike Thompson, it appears there is some legitimate debate as to which side of the ball Lippett will land in the NFL. His college experience is heavily vested at the wide receiver position, but he played well at the end of his senior year as a cornerback and has the length to combat bigger receivers. What's more, Lippett himself says scouting opinions are split. Although he lacks experience at corner, he's stuck in a long line of draft class depth as a receiver. As such, it's not a given that he would be drafted higher as a receiver.
NFL fit:Kansas City Chiefs. The club has already been in touch with Lippett, and has as big a need for receiving help as any team in the NFL.

4. Nick Marshall, Auburn

Switching from college quarterback to pro cornerback is a massive undertaking, but one Marshall's athleticism and skill set likely demands. Some scouts have suggested Marshall could end up at safety, but for now, he's hoping to make a successful transition to cornerback. NFL clubs are trending toward bigger cornerbacks, and Marshall brings that asset (6-foot-1, 208 pounds).
NFL fit:Seattle Seahawks. Marshall will need a year or two to develop, so he's actually a better fit for a club in good shape at corner than one which needs help now. If he's ready to start in 2016 or 2017, he could be a smart, inexpensive answer to a free-agency loss.

5. Lynden Trail, Norfolk State

Trail is an intriguing draft sleeper, a raw talent who will likely need ample time to develop and settle at the correct position. But what is that? His best position in the NFL is as much of a head-scratcher as anything else in this draft. At 6-7 and 270 pounds, he could be a pass-rushing outside linebacker, or a tight end. Add a few pounds, and he could hold his own as a defensive end. Wherever he goes, his new team will know exactly where it wants to try him first, but can't possibly know where he'll end up.
NFL fit:New England Patriots. A Super Bowl champion has the freedom to take on a promising athlete who won't likely be ready to make a big splash as a rookie. Plus, the Patriots' creativity in moving players within the roster could be an ideal environment for Trail to find his positional home.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread.*

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