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Washington stars Shelton, Thompson, Peters and Kikaha stand out for NFL scouts on pro day

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SEATTLE — Marcus Peters was back in a familiar setting on Thursday, even though a return to Washington seemed unlikely months ago.

Nearly five months ago, Peters was dismissed from the Huskies football program after continued run-ins with coach Chris Petersen and the Huskies' first-year coaching staff. He was talented, but also a problem that needed to be dealt with.

"Everything I went through I was meant to go through," Peters said Thursday.

Peters was perhaps the most impressive of all the former Washington players who took part in the Huskies' annual pro day. The standout cornerback was welcomed back to work out for NFL scouts and front-office personnel that included Seahawks general manager John Schneider, San Francisco GM Trent Baalke, new Washington GM Scot McCloughan and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

Peters is a likely first-round selection because of what he displayed: impressive, quick footwork and strong ball skills. At 6-feet, 190 pounds he has the size and speed that most teams are looking for in a cornerback.

And when teams ask why he was dismissed at Washington, Peters is straightforward.

"We talk about it and we move on," Peters said. "We're playing for the future."

PHOTO: Former Washington player Marcus Peters tosses back a ball as he works out at Washington's pro day Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Seattle. Potential first-round picks Danny Shelton and Shaq Thompson were among about 20 former Washington players who worked out for NFL officials and others. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Former Washington player Marcus Peters tosses back a ball as he works out at Washington's pro day Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Seattle. Potential first-round picks Danny Shelton and Shaq Thompson were among about 20 former Washington players who worked out for NFL officials and others. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Washington's indoor practice facility was packed with onlookers coming to see the Huskies' bounty of potential high draft picks. Peters and defensive tackle Danny Shelton are almost sure first-round selections. Linebackers Hau'oli Kikaha and hybrid linebacker/safety Shaq Thompson are likely second-day selections.

Shelton, Peters and Thompson only did individual drills at their respective positions, while Kikaha went through the full workout including running the 40-yard dash.

"I wanted to run a good time but probably the last time I will have to run that thing," said Kikaha, who led the country with 18 sacks in the regular season last year.

While Peters' return drew much of the attention, equally watched was Thompson. He played linebacker for the majority of his college career, but also spent some time at safety and even played a little running back this past season.

That's led to difficulty defining what his position will be in the NFL. He's being looked at as either a weakside linebacker or strong safety, but running back is out of the picture. When asked to go through running back drills on Thursday, Thompson declined. He did go through drills with both the linebackers and with the defensive backs.

"It felt like the combine. I think I got all my nervousness out at the combine," Thompson said.

Shelton might end up being the highest draft pick of the four. At 338 pounds and with unique quickness, teams have been targeting Shelton's potential to be disruptive lining up either as a defensive tackle over the guard or as a nose tackle over the center.

Shelton said he hasn't had any visits with individual teams yet, but was expected to meet with Cleveland next week.

"I'm ready for whatever life gives me, but I'm definitely anxious right now to get out there," Shelton said.

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