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Exec: Jabrill Peppers a bigger, more explosive Tyrann Mathieu

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  • By Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks 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 | Sept. 14 | | Sept. 21


The scoop: "Jabrill Peppers is a bigger, more explosive version of Tyrann Mathieu." -- NFC executive on the Michigan LB/DB

The skinny: My colleague Lance Zierlein made the same comp for Peppers this week. I think Mathieu (5-foot-9, 186 pounds) is a more instinctive player in coverage, but Peppers (6-1, 205, per school measurements) is more physical and he brings an added dimension in the return game. Peppers is a defensive coordinator's dream. You can line him up at multiple spots and he finds ways to affect the game. -- Daniel Jeremiah

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The scoop: "I know it's early, but I'm a little disappointed in (Deshaun) Watson's throwing. He's missed the mark a bit because he's guiding and aiming the ball instead of letting it rip." -- AFC executive on the Clemson QB

The skinny: There's no disputing the scout's opinion on Watson's early season play. He didn't play well against Auburn and Troy in the first two weeks of the season. He bounced back with a pair of solid performances against South Carolina State and Georgia Tech, but evaluators still want to see more improvement from the 2015 Heisman Trophy finalist down the stretch.

Part of Watson's struggles might be due to the pressure that he probably feels as a top QB prospect. He likely heard TV analysts and media scouts pick apart his game throughout the offseason, and he stepped onto the field intent on proving them wrong. Although most athletes feed off of a "me-against-the-world" mentality, it can place an unnecessary level of stress on the player. The desire to be perfect can prevent a player from playing his best.

Watson has shown signs of settling down in recent weeks, and he needs to get back to playing with a cool demeanor and the sneaky swagger that's made him one of the best big-game players we've seen at the position. If he gets back to having fun and allows himself to enjoy the game, the scouts that were raving about his potential as a franchise quarterback will once again sing his praises. -- Bucky Brooks

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College Football 24/7 Hot Topics:

The scoop: "I love watching Mike Williams practice. He goes 100 miles per hour on every rep. He's diving for balls like the national championship is on the line." -- AFC scout on the Clemson WR

The skinny: I fell in love with Williams when I studied him in 2014. He missed almost all of last season due to injury, but he's gotten bigger and stronger while maintaining his quickness and speed. He's a special player. It sounds like he's been putting in the work on the practice field and it shows every Saturday. -- Daniel Jeremiah

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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