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Sources Tell Us: AFC exec sees dearth of NFL talent for Texas

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Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press
Charlie Strong's Longhorns suffered a blowout loss to Notre Dame in Week 1.

NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein is constantly talking to NFL and college sources about players in the college game. In this space each week, Zierlein will share some of what NFL folks are discussing in their circles.

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The scoop: "All 'guys' and no 'dudes'. Texas barely shows up on our master list of prospects to scout this year. Vince Lombardi couldn't do anything with the guys they have on offense." -- AFC executive on the state of Texas' draft prospects

The skinny: Texas does have one "dude" -- Malik Jefferson -- but he is a freshman. Head coach Charlie Strong took play-calling duties away from Shawn Watson and turned those duties over to Jay Norvell after the team's 38-3 loss to Notre Dame in Week 1, but this executive doesn't expect much from the Longhorns based on their perceived lack of talent.

Texas has produced just four first- and four second-round picks over the past eight drafts dating back to 2008. By comparison, Texas had eight first-round picks and three second-rounders from 2004-07. While Strong is only in his second year with the program, he has a long way to go before Texas is a major player in the NFL draft to the extent they were in the mid-2000s.

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» Debate: Which Ohio State player has best chance at Heisman?


The scoop: "Braxton (Miller) had a nice first game at receiver, but he is a work in progress in terms of learning how to play the position well enough to make it on our level." -- NFC regional scout on Miller's debut at H-back for Ohio State

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The skinny: This scout isn't really telling us anything that we don't know here, but tempering the excitement of a big first game with the realities of development at a new position is probably a wise thing.

Miller was a force in the open field and showed an ability to adjust and make the low catch vs. the Hokies, but his routes were very much rounded and lacked the crispness that will be required of him at the next level. With that said, it will be exciting to watch his growth at the position as the season progresses because he will obviously play a major role in the Buckeyes' offense this season.

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The scoop: "Myles Garrett might be the most dominant defensive player I will watch all year. Hell, I could coach him into 15 sacks but Chavis is going to really help him out by making sure that the guys around him are better football players." -- NFC area scout on the impact of new Texas A&M defensive coordinator John Chavis


» Stock report: Myles Garrett rises, Christian Hackenberg falls


The skinny: My appreciation for Garrett's talent is on the record after his 11.5-sack freshman season. He's as good an athlete as Chavis had in Barkevious Mingo when both were at LSU, but Garrett is more talented as a pass rusher.

This scout believes the big difference for Garrett and the Texas A&M defense this season is that Chavis will get more consistency from the defenders surrounding Garrett. Garrett's edge quickness and edge-bending agility paired with Chavis' game-planning could turn the tide for the Aggies' defense more quickly than anticipated.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.

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