Editor's note: 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. This week, he shares what he's hearing about one of the draft's biggest risers and the depth of this year's RB and guard classes.
The scoop: "It won't surprise me if (Temple LB Haason) Reddick comes off the board before (Alabama LB Reuben) Foster. I like Foster a lot and I think he's the better player of the two, but Reddick is bigger than Foster and is a legit rusher on the edge, too. Any time you have someone who can rush the quarterback, they get pushed up the board." -- NFC pro personnel director
The skinny: The comment about Reddick being bigger than Foster caught me off-guard, but it's true. Reddick came into the NFL Scouting Combine eight pounds heavier than Foster, but I would say that Foster plays stronger and heavier than Reddick once they hit the grass. Reddick's draft value has continued to soar after strong performances at the Senior Bowl and combine. His ability to rush the passer off the edge was something I saw on tape and in one-on-ones at Senior Bowl practices. With more and more defenses looking for hybrid players who can play a variety of roles, Reddick could be the player who benefits most on Day One of the draft.
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The scoop: "I keep hearing how this is such a deep running back draft, but somebody needs to tell me what that means. I see some starters early on, but after that, I see a bunch of (No. 2 backs) and change-of-pace types. I don't make the picks, but to me, it looks like you better go get one of those top guys if you really want a running back this year." -- NFC running backs coach
The skinny: This is a very interesting, and potentially telling way of looking at this position. While I see running backs like Jeremy McNichols (Boise State), D'Onta Freeman (Texas) and Samaje Perine (Oklahoma) as players who might be able to shoulder primary carries in the future, this running backs coach clearly does not see it that way. If Joe Mixon (Oklahoma) is off his team's board, then that might leave Leonard Fournette (LSU), Dalvin Cook (FSU), Alvin Kamara (Tennessee) and Christian McCaffrey (Stanford) as top-shelf running backs. Then again, there are many evaluators who question whether McCaffrey is big enough to handle a high number of NFL carries.
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The scoop: "This is one of the worst guard drafts that I can remember if you are looking for a starter right now. Other than (Western Kentucky's Forrest) Lamp, I'm not excited about any of them. There are some decent guys middle and late, but they aren't going to be ready this year." -- AFC personnel executive
The skinny: Based on the draft grades I have listed in our NFL Draft Tracker, I would agree with this executive ... to an extent. I think there is a chance that Pitt's Dorian Johnson and Temple's Dion Dawkins could come in and play early on. Western Michigan's Taylor Moton is best-suited to the guard spot in the NFL, in my opinion, but it wouldn't surprise me to see a team test him as a right tackle first, which would take him out of the "early starter" conversation as a guard.