Our analysts and writers are constantly talking to NFL and college sources about draft prospects. Lance Zierlein share some of what NFL folks are discussing in draft rooms throughout the league.
The scoop: "I can't see him in the first round because he's just a banger type and those guys don't go in the first. I like him, though. He reminds me a little of Marion Butts with how naturally physical he is. He will move chains and score touchdowns." -- NFC running backs coach on Alabama RB Derrick Henry
The skinny: The comparison to Butts is interesting based on the physical nature of Butts, but Henry is one of the most unique body types we've seen at the running back position. While it's unlikely that Henry goes in the first round, it will be interesting to see how the NFL values a "banger" type who had more than 400 touches last season. Henry has some subtle elusiveness once he gets into the second level and his breakaway speed consistently catches safeties off guard, leading to big runs.
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The scoop:"The more I watch him, the more I like him. I don't care as much about the issues he has on tape because some of them are due to the tempo (Texas Tech plays) at. They want him to vertical set and get in the way and they are less worried about the technique. All his issues are coachable. He's the fourth tackle in my rankings." -- AFC offensive line coach on Texas Tech offensive tackle Le'Raven Clark
The skinny: With long arms and good athleticism, it was a lock that position coaches would be more excited about Clark than some of the area scouts might have been. This coach brings up a really good point about collegiate offensive linemen for up-tempo offenses. Many tackles in these schemes require top-notch conditioning over top-notch technique. Coaches want to see athletic traits and ability -- they assume they can fix the technical issues. I've had Clark as a first-round tackle since we started the mock-draft process in January and that won't change for me.
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The scoop: "As a former tight end myself, it just makes me sick to see how few college tight ends can block anymore. They are all receivers now. You might find three tight ends who can really block on an NFL level in the entire draft if you are lucky. (Hunter) Henry from Arkansas is OK and (Austin) Hooper is average and the (Tyler) Higbee kid has the size to maybe do it down the line." -- NFL tight ends coach on the lack of blocking from tight ends in this year's draft class
The skinny: The NFL drafts their tight-end talent from the college ranks, and on that level, blocking simply isn't a coveted trait for tight ends in many schemes. It makes sense that incoming tight ends are going to be heavily weighted toward pass-catching rather than blocking. With that said, players with enough toughness, size and strength can be coached up into serviceable blockers on the NFL level. To this coach's point, tight ends with experience as in-line blockers like Henry and Hooper figure to carry a better draft grade since there are so few like them.