Editor's note: NFL.com analysts and former NFL scouts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks of the Move The Sticks Podcast share some of their college-scouting notes heading into Week 12 of the college football season, including:
But first, we kick off this week's notebook with Jeremiah's look at which NFL teams could be in the market for a QB in next year's draft.
In last week's notebook, we took a look at the teams in need of an upgrade at the running back position. Fortunately for those teams, the upcoming draft is likely to be littered with talented players at that position. The talent at the quarterback position (even if every draft-eligible player entered the draft) isn't nearly as impressive. However, I won't be surprised to see some teams elevate quarterbacks on their draft board because of a severe need at the position. The NFL remains a QB-driven league. It's tough to win without very strong play from your signal-caller. With that in mind, here's a list of teams that I believe are most likely to be in the QB market this offseason.
» 49ers: Colin Kaepernick has shown glimpses of his former self this season, but he's been far from consistent. They need to upgrade the position in order to give Chip Kelly a chance to be successful.
» Jaguars: Blake Bortles has taken a major step backward this season, and there might be a new head coach in place next season. They need to have some tough conversations inside the organization about whether or not Bortles is the long-term solution at the position.
It will be interesting to see what teams decide to jump into the QB pool this offseason. One player capable of removing a team from this list -- Tony Romo. His time in Dallas could be coming to a close, and he'd be a major upgrade for any of the teams mentioned above. -- Daniel Jeremiah
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One of college football's most exciting players is getting even better: There are a lot of intriguing defensive back prospects in college football, but I don't know if there is a more athletic defensive playmaker than USC CB Adoree' Jackson. Now, that statement certainly won't surprise many fans familiar with the ultra-athletic, two-sport standout's exploits as a two-time Pac-12 long-jump champion and All-Pac-12 defensive back/return specialist, but the junior has started to show the kind of refined technique and instincts to shine as a CB1 at the next level.
In studying Jackson since his freshman season, I've noticed a dramatic improvement in his footwork, turns/transitions and angles in coverage. In "off" coverage, in particular, he has not shown more discipline and patience in his backpedal, but he has a better feel for reading routes in his area. As a result, Jackson makes quicker breaks on throws to his designated receivers, which leads to more interceptions and deflections from the savvy defender. Most impressively, he hasn't been susceptible to the double moves or "stutter" routes that routinely plagued him as a young starter.
In press coverage, Jackson has started to rely more on his technique than his athleticism at the line. As a world-class athlete, he's certainly capable of running with the overwhelming majority of receivers in the college game without using his hands (to jam or disrupt their release) or a "shadow" technique. However, he needed to clean up his technique to give him a chance to suffocate the elite players at the position. That's why I couldn't wait to see him take on Washington's John Ross III last week. The marquee battle would give him plenty of chances to guard a WR1 with NFL-caliber athleticism and skill.
Against the Huskies' star, Jackson varied his techniques on the island to keep Ross in check. He mixed in some press coverage with a traditional backpedal and "catch" technique to take away the vertical routes that have made Ross one of the hottest prospects in the country. Although Ross posted an impressive stat line (eight catches for 154 yards with a score) and scored a touchdown on a fade route when Jackson missed the jam at the line, the USC star showed terrific grit, discipline and ball skills throughout the game. He snagged a pair of interceptions on intermediate routes, including his game-clinching pick on an under-thrown curl route. The interception was impressive due to Jackson's outstanding anticipation and awareness.
Jackson is in line to be a top prospect in the 2017 or 2018 class with a game that reminds me of Asante Samuel. He might not be the right fit for every system, but a team employing a zone scheme that allows cornerbacks to "clue" the quarterback could value him as a game changer on the island. -- Bucky Brooks
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Scouting buzz builds for TE prospect: The tight end position in college football is loaded with impact playmakers at the "Y" (traditional tight end) and "H" (movement tight end), but scouts are saying South Alabama's Gerald Everett could be the best of the bunch. Now, that's quite a statement with the likes of O.J. Howard, Jake Butt, Bucky Hodges, Evan Engram, Jordan Leggett and Jeremy Sprinkle dotting the list as big-bodied pass-catchers with big-time potential.
"(Everett is) pretty good," said an NFC scout. "He's still a bit of a developmental player, but he's long and athletic with good ball skills. ... He could end up being the best of the bunch when we look back at this draft in a couple of years."
Measuring 6-foot-4, 240 pounds with NBA-player-like quickness and movement skills, Everett is the kind of mismatch playmaker that's become coveted in the league. He's capable of working linebackers and safeties from the slot or on the flank as an oversized receiver. Although he offers little resistance as an in-line blocker, he can split the seam on vertical routes and deliver explosive plays on "catch-and-run" concepts. When I look around the NFL for a possible comparison, I believe TE Jordan Reed is the best fit. As a big-bodied slot receiver, Reed has given opponents fits and I could see Everett thriving in a similar role in time. With a week to showcase his skills at the Reese's Senior Bowl in January, don't be surprised if the South Alabama standout becomes a hot name near the end of the pre-draft process. -- Bucky Brooks
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Two must-see matchups for scouts on Saturday
Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer vs. Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster: Kizer has had an up and down junior campaign. I was at the Notre Dame opener against Texas and came away thoroughly impressed with his performance. However, there have been a few less-than-stellar performances this season. This week will present a stiff test for Kizer and the Notre Dame offense. Virginia Tech's Foster is one of the best defensive coordinators in college football. He loves to bring pressure. Foster will challenge Kizer to make quick decisions and deliver accurate throws. It will be interesting to see if Kizer elects to return to Notre Dame next season or applies for early entry into the 2017 NFL Draft. He is coming off three consecutive solid performances (8 touchdowns, 1 interception) and he has a chance to finish strong against two highly ranked opponents (Notre Dame plays at USC next week). -- Daniel Jeremiah
Florida CBs Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson vs. LSU WRs Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre: There is nothing scouts love more than to see a top CB prospect take on a top WR prospect in a marquee matchup with conference-title implications. These battles mirror NFL games and they allow evaluators to see how players react to high-pressure situations. That's why all eyes will be on Florida's Tabor and Wilson to see how they handle LSU's Dupre and Dural on the perimeter on Saturday.
The Gators' dynamic duo is widely considered the best cornerback tandem in the college football with each player possessing the length and athleticism scouts covet in CB1s (Tabor is listed at 6-foot, 201 pounds; Wilson measures in at 6-1, 213). Most importantly, they are feisty competitors capable of snuffing out receivers with their aggressive tactics at the line. Against LSU's collection of receivers, the Gators will face a pair of long, rangy pass catchers with the length, athleticism and ball skills to dominate on the outside. Dupree (6-4, 195) and Dural (6-2, 207) haven't put up impressive stats, but they have flashed enough playmaking ability to pique the interest of scouts around the league. With a five-star matchup on the horizon, scouts are anxious to see which guys show out in Death Valley. -- Bucky Brooks