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: "The tape on him is really bad. He gets no protection up front, but (he's) missing some easy throws. You can't blame all of his accuracy problems on everyone else. He's never been accurate and I don't think he's ever going to be accurate. His decision making has been better, at least." -- AFC area scout on Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg
The skinny: If Hackenberg, a junior, decides to apply for early draft eligibility, his accuracy issues will be debated ad nauseam inside draft rooms because his size and arm will be tempting if a team can convince itself that it can improve his accuracy and overall ball placement. To Hackenberg's credit, he does show the ability to make some really nice touch throws down the field and he's improved his yards per attempt by an entire yard from last season while cutting his interceptions from 15 to his current total of 3.
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The skinny: That is high praise -- Thompson and Bucannon both were first-round picks. However, we're not surprised to hear such talk about Killebrew, who has accepted an invitation to the Reese's Senior Bowl. He jumps off the tape and has a chance to be a name you'll hear a lot leading up to the draft. Killebrew has good size at a little under 6-2 and 230 pounds. He's been clocked at 4.45 in the 40. Everything we hear is that his character is impeccable.
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The scoop: "If you don't have the defensive tackle from Louisiana Tech in your top 32 players right now, you should put him in there. It will make you look smart." -- NFC regional scout on Louisiana Tech's Vernon Butler
The skinny: Counting this Saturday, I've now heard from three scouts that are all very high on Louisiana Tech's senior defensive tackle. Butler is 6-foot-4 and 316 pounds. He has the long arms that defensive line coaches love. Butler carries his weight well and has above-average quickness as an interior pass rusher. Butler has also shown an ability to eat up blocks and disrupt as an upfield player, which means he offers scheme versatility. Keep an eye on Butler moving forward.