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Sources Tell Us: Scout says Corey Clement 'just another back'

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Andy Manis/Associated Press

NFL.com 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.

Sources Tell Us: Sept. 7 | Sept. 14 | Sept. 21 | Sept. 28 | Oct. 5 | Oct. 12 | Oct. 19 | Oct. 26 | Nov. 2


The scoop: "I never got the hype on Corey Clement. He's a bull-in-a-china-shop back. I mean, he runs hard, don't get me wrong, but playing in the NFL is about more than running hard. I see him as just another (running) back." -- NFC North scout on the Wisconsin RB

The skinny: The "bull-in-a-china-shop" phrase means the scout believes Clement runs hard but with no finesse. I see things the same way. I haven't seen Clement, a senior, distinguish himself among so many talented running backs in college. He's well-built and physical, but too often becomes a grinder with an inability to consistently create and get yardage beyond what is blocked. I'm having a hard time envisioning a scenario where Clement isn't a third-day pick (Rounds 4-7).

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The scoop: "You can't get too caught up in whatever negatives you want to find on him because that position in the pros takes a different level of physicality and a different mindset. He's got what you want if safety is a priority position for your defense." -- AFC personnel man on LSU safety Jamal Adams

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The skinny: The scouting community has been pretty unanimous in its fondness for Adams in the conversations I've had with my sources in those circles. Just about everyone I've spoken to raves about his ability to support the run and his alpha leadership qualities, which are coveted on the back end of a defense. In fact, one NFL executive told my colleague, Daniel Jeremiah, that he expects Adams to be a top-10 pick. I will likely be one of those who points out some negatives for Adams because I still believe he has some holes in his game. While I would agree with the positive attributes previously stated, I question his ability to cover when matched against an NFL passing attack. I look forward to digging into the tape to sharpen my evaluation of him. As for teams that might make adding a safety a priority, click here for a look at needs for every club.

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The scoop: "You have to go back and look at his tape from last year because of the concussion (he suffered earlier this season) and then having to play some tackle. I still thought he was a third- or fourth-rounder after watching him. I just question his power at the point. I think he's a zone blocker. You don't draft those guys early." -- AFC scout on Indiana OG Dan Feeney

The skinny: I'm on record as a believer in Feeney's ability, as I made him my top interior offensive lineman to watch heading into the season. Feeney missed four games early in the season due to a concussion. He usually plays right guard, but was rotated between his normal spot and right tackle last weekend, as injuries led Indiana to use him in both spots. I have yet to study his tape from 2016. Based on what I saw from him last season, Feeney needs to improve his block engagement and he's only average with his change-of-direction ability. However, I see plenty of functional strength from him. Coming out of last season, I saw him as a top-65 pick.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.

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