Shaq Thompson, Ali Marpet among toughest to evaluate in draft

Quarterback is not the only position that is tough to evaluate when it comes to the 2015 NFL Draft, nor is Oregon's Marcus Mariota's jump to the next level the most difficult to peg. 



Several NFL Media analysts were asked to name the one prospect who stumped them when they put on the tape, and nearly every analyst came up with a different name.

"Shaq Thompson at Washington," analyst Brian Baldinger said. "Is he a nickel linebacker? Is he a cover-two safety? Is he a rush outside linebacker? He lines up everywhere. I don't think anybody is playing (Thompson) at running back. You're drafting him to play on the defensive side of the ball. I just think the position that you draft him at, you have to give him a chance to go compete at it."

Thompson has been viewed by various clubs as one of the top tailbacks, linebackers, and safeties in the draft, depending on who you talk to. While most agree Thompson is a terrific player and athlete, the uncertainty over his best position at the next level has caused his draft stock to be all over the board. Combine that with limited tape at some of those positions, and Thompson is certainly a question mark.

NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein said he has the same issue with Ali Marpet out of Hobart.

"He's got a lot of talent, but he played tackle at Division III, so he's just smashing these guys into oblivion. It almost doesn't make sense to watch tape," Zierlein said. "I liked what I saw at the Senior Bowl, but in terms of watching tape, it's not going to do you any good."

One player who doesn't have to worry about having a lack of tape is Florida State's Mario Edwards. A former No. 1 overall recruit coming out of high school, his place in the first or second round has been all over the map due in part to his waistline. 

"Mario Edwards is, to me, so difficult to figure out because he's played at different weights," NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "He's played in the 260's, he's played in the 290's. He's played five-technique, they've split him out wide and dropped him into coverage even. I like him inside, but I think he's going to have to show people that he's serious about football. He's dropped his weight down, but where does he fit?

"I just don't know what he is."

Other hard-to-figure prospects that were mentioned included Kentucky edge rusher Bud Dupree, Texas A&M offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi, and LSU corner Jalen Collins

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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