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Scouts prefer DeShone Kizer over Deshaun Watson

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  • By Daniel Jeremiah and Lance Zierlein NFL.com
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Our analysts are constantly talking to NFL and college sources about players in the college game. In this space each week, they will share some of what NFL folks are discussing in their circles.

Sources Tell Us: Sept. 7


The scoop: Two scouts told us in the weeks since the season began that they believe Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer should be ranked ahead of Clemson's Deshaun Watson as the top quarterback in college football.

The skinny: I spent time watching Watson tape this summer and saw him live in the Orange Bowl last season, so I'm very familiar with his strengths and weaknesses. Watson needs to improve his accuracy, and he is off to a less-than-super start this season. However, we've seen him step up and play well in big games, including last season's national championship game. Kizer has the size, arm strength and passing acumen that NFL teams look for and he was sensational when I saw him play in Week 1 against Texas, so it's not surprising that scouts are high on him. Watson has a little more on his resume than Kizer at this point and we haven't seen Watson's best football yet this season. I'm still a fan of Watson's potential and ability, but I'm also impressed with Kizer's consistency and acumen from the pocket. -- Lance Zierlein

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College Football 24/7 Hot Topics:

The scoop: "Clemson RB Wayne Gallman is one of the most underrated players in the country. He can do a little of everything. Runs extremely hard and can play on all three downs." -- NFC college scouting director

The skinny: I can vouch for his tough running style, and I can understand how a running back could slide under the radar this season. The position is loaded in the college ranks. Gallman isn't producing at the same clip he did last season, but the entire Clemson offense is off to a slow start this year. He's someone we'll be keeping an eye on all season. -- Daniel Jeremiah

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The scoop: "I was really happy to see that (USC OT) Zach (Banner) came in lighter this year because he was way too big last year and it hurt his play. He does some things you like but if he doesn't chip even more weight off and add some quickness, he will have a hard time being a starter at tackle in our league." -- NFC scout who covers Pac-12

The skinny: Banner is the hulking, 6-foot-9, 360-pound son of former NFL tackle Lincoln Kennedy and was said to have weighed as much as 389 pounds during the 2015 season. I had high hopes for Banner as the 2015 season began, but his additional weight seemed to create issues for him and his play was relatively average across the board. Banner came into camp much lighter this season, but the question is whether or not he can keep that weight off. Alabama's edge quickness seemed to be too steep a test for Banner in Week 1. With his height, it's unlikely teams will consider him at guard, so it's imperative that he keeps his weight down and plays quicker in pass protection. -- Lance Zierlein

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