ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Here's some of what NFL executives and scouts are saying about the most intriguing 2016 NFL Draft prospects on hand for the East-West Shrine Game this week.
The scoop: "I would like to see him play in the slot rather than taking these dumb zone-read snaps. I don't think he's a running back, but he might be a slot receiver. I just need to see him get some legitimate receiver snaps." -- AFC scout on Navy quarterback-turned-running back Keenan Reynolds
The skinny: Reynolds has taken some snaps at running back and has run packaged zone-read plays as well as direct snaps, but more than one scout has indicated that his ultimate roster spot could be as a receiver. Ball security was a big issue for Reynolds at Navy, where he fumbled 32 times and lost 18, so I don't know if it's a lock that he has the hands to become a receiver. If Reynolds doesn't get enough reps here catching the ball as teams would like, he will be asked to run some routes at individual workouts.
* * *
The scoop: "He's good-looking in the uniform and on air, but when the bullets start flying, he just can't hang in and make winning plays." -- AFC executive on Wisconsin QB Joel Stave
The skinny: Stave wasn't very productive in 2015, but he does have a smooth delivery and release that can create some intrigue in his potential. Ultimately, NFL evaluators are rarely willing to give quarterback prospects the benefit of the doubt if they don't handle college pressure well. Size and arm talent can get a quarterback drafted, but a perceived lack of poise is a hard thing to overcome in the eyes of most teams.
* * *
The scoop: "I don't know if you play (Devon) Cajuste at tight end or as a big receiver or as an H-back, but he's a damn good player. He's too much for some of these cornerbacks out here. He could have played at the Senior Bowl." -- NFC executive on the Stanford WR
The skinny: Cajuste has had a solid week of practices as a wide receiver, but many teams believe his eventual NFL position might be as an H-back. Cajuste is well put together and has been able to get open and make catches throughout the first three days of practice. While fans and media types (including yours truly) might debate whether Cajuste is a "tweener" in need of a true position, it's clear that NFL teams simply view him as a good football player who will find a spot.
* * *
The scoop: "The Ochi kid has something to him. I spoke with our regional scout who said that he was the dude in the locker room and that everyone was afraid of him -- not afraid but listened to what he had to say. I wish he was taller but he's got length, so I'm not worried about that." -- AFC executive on Stony Brook defensive end Victor Ochi
The skinny: Ochi has been one of the most intriguing guys I've studied on film due to his outstanding strength and aggressiveness at the point of attack. Of all the players at the Shrine Game, Ochi has been one of the names mentioned most frequently. Ochi measured in a little taller than 6-foot-1, but he's very powerful and has long arms (more than 33 inches) for his size, which will help him on the edge. Ultimately, Ochi's draft value will be tied to the upside a team assigns his pass-rush ability.
* * *
The scoop: "I don't care what he can't do right now, I just care about what he is physically able to do in the future. Worst-case scenario, he is a core special-teams player and backup. He has an NFL body, so you ask yourself if he can be coached up." -- NFC college scouting director on Minnesota linebacker De'Vondre Campbell
The skinny: The Minnesota linebacker has a very impressive physique with long arms, muscular legs and a tapered chest. Did I mention he has impressive quick-twitch characteristics as well? On tape, Campbell doesn't make as many plays as you would like and his instincts are very average, but NFL teams love traits and want a roster full of athletes who can help on special teams, so Campbell will probably be a fourth- or fifth-rounder, which is higher than his tape might dictate.