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Scout: Linwood is the RB who can least afford to skip bowl game

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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.

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The scoop: "Of all the running backs who (should) not skip their bowl game, Shock Linwood would be at the top of the list. I guess he's played his last game because I don't think he's getting drafted." -- NFC area scout on the Baylor RB

The skinny: Linwood has decided not to play in Baylor's bowl game and will prepare for the NFL draft instead. While I don't believe RBs Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey, who are also sitting out of bowls, will be hurt by their decisions, this is a puzzling choice by Linwood considering he has several strikes against him.

Linwood lacks NFL size, he's not the most elusive runner and he saw a massive drop in participation and production that might be an indicator that his production over the last two seasons was tied directly to the Baylor scheme. Linwood's attitude is also being questioned after then-Baylor coach Jim Grobe suspended him from the Oklahoma game for attitude issues. He needs to take advantage of every opportunity to shine and it looks like he just pulled one of them off the board.

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The scoop: "I think he would have benefited by staying in school another year. He's awful in pass protection. Our coaches won't put him out there if they think he'll get the quarterback (hurt). He has ability as a runner, but I think it's going to take a while for him to become a factor." -- NFC scouting director on Texas RB D'Onta Foreman

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The skinny: Foreman announced last month that he intends to enter the draft as an underclassman. The quote from the scouting director came before I finished by draft profile for Foremen. I was interested in checking out his pass protection, as I already have my opinions on him as a runner (mostly positive). Sure enough, the tape showed a lack of aggression in his approach as a blocker and he rarely seemed to look for work when no blitzers were in sight.

While I think he has the ability to catch the football, he wasn't very productive as a pass-catcher at Texas and if teams don't trust him to handle protection duties, then his stock could suffer, especially in potentially running back-rich draft.

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The scoop: "He's really athletic and he's really smart. There are a lot of Wisconsin linemen who start in the league because they learn an NFL system and they are taught the right way. He played against Arden Key (LSU), Sam Hubbard (Ohio State) and Taco Charlton (Michigan). This guy is battle tested against three future first-rounders." -- NFC scout on Wisconsin left tackle Ryan Ramczyk

The skinny: While Ramczyk has yet to announce his intentions for the 2017 draft, the decision might have become clouded, as it was reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he will have surgery on a torn labrum in his hip after the season was over. However, Ramczyk said this week that no decision about surgery has been made. The recovery time for that injury could cause Ramczyk to miss not only the NFL Scouting Combine, but also any potential pro-day workouts as well. There is no way to know what the medical findings would be at the combine, but he's impressed scouts with his performance in matchups against the aforementioned edge rushers. Ramzcyk is in his first year as a starter for the Badgers after transferring from Wisconsin-Stevens Point and redshirting last season. He isn't the physical prototype that teams typically look for, but his technique and play attributes are top notch.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.

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