Our analysts are constantly talking to NFL and college sources about players in the college game. In this space each week, they will share some of what NFL folks are discussing in their circles.
The scoop: An AFC personnel director says of Ole Miss DL Robert Nkemdiche: "I know he gets a ton of attention, but I'm leery ... actually, I would stand on a table and tell my franchise to not take him in the top 15 picks." Why? The personnel director says Nkemdiche is a great talent who can overpower college players with his bull rushes and speed, but he doesn't think Nkemdiche is a natural pass rusher and said he flagged the Rebels' star numerous times for not finishing plays.
The skinny: It's worth noting that this assessment was made before Nkemdiche was charged with marijuana possession after a fall from a hotel window earlier this month. He was subsequently suspended for the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Nkemdiche, a junior, has stated that he intends to apply for early entry into the 2016 NFL Draft. There's no denying that he has intriguing athletic ability, but the personnel director indicates that the tape doesn't always match the traits, and Nkemdiche will certainly have off-field questions to answer when the time comes for him to meet with NFL teams.
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The scoop: "Phil (Savage) is going to take a lot of heat for choosing (Jake) Coker as a homer pick for a Senior Bowl spot at quarterback, but he's going to get drafted. He has size and a pro arm. I think he can be a better pro than college quarterback." -- AFC scout on the decision to invite the Alabama QB to the Reese's Senior Bowl, which is played in Mobile, Ala.
The skinny: Coker's size is definitely NFL-worthy and he has the arm to make the NFL throws. With that said, it's debatable whether Coker is as worthy of being invited to the biggest postseason all-star game as Arkansas' Brandon Allen, who has not been invited to the game. The Senior Bowl had a history of making strange selections before Phil Savage's arrival as executive director, but the former NFL GM also understands that the NFL is a traits-based league and Coker has traits.
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The scoop: "This draft might lack a slam-dunk quarterback, but there is a lot of depth at the position. I think there will be good players to be had in the third-/fourth-round area." -- AFC scouting director
The skinny: The full field of quarterbacks available in the 2016 NFL Draft has not yet been established, as underclassmen have until a Jan. 18 deadline to apply for early draft eligibility. There might never be much of a consensus on one quarterback that will definitely be available -- Michigan State's Connor Cook -- as one scout recently called him the most polarizing player in the draft, telling CFB 24/7 that he wouldn't take him before the third round. This isn't the first time we've heard a scout question whether there will be a quarterback available who's worthy of a top pick, though.