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 most polarizing guy in the draft is going to be Connor Cook. Watch. Scouts argue about him all the time. We've seen him long enough that everyone's mind is made up already. He's a third-rounder to me and an average starter at best." -- NFC regional scout on the Michigan State QB
The skinny: As a three-year starter, Cook has put quite a bit of tape out there to study, and many times, those players get treated more harshly because all of their warts are known. Cook has been a productive starter who has shown improvement each year, but there are still questions about his accuracy on the NFL level and whether or not he can be a team leader in the locker room and on the field. While Cook might be polarizing, he's also a quality quarterback, and quality quarterbacks rarely fall very far outside of the second round.
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The scoop: Here's a wide receiver who's worth keeping an eye on as he flies a little bit under the radar -- TCU's Kolby Listenbee. An NFC personnel director says Listenbee needs to continue to develop, but noted that a team will take a chance on him because of his speed. As the evaluator said, anyone that can run a time approaching 10 seconds in the 100 meters (he clocked a 10.03 at the Big 12 championships earlier this year) is worth a look. We'll get a chance to see him compete at the Reese's Senior Bowl in January, as he's accepted an invitation to the game.
The skinny: Listenbee's speed is overwhelming, as those that have seen him in person will tell you, and it's not hard to envision his growth potential. He could be an ideal slot receiver if he harnesses his speed and continues to grow as a route runner, but he definitely is capable of making defenses worry from outside the numbers with his speed.
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The scoop: An AFC scout says the 2016 tight end class is not shaping up to be a very impressive one.
The skinny: The NFL wasn't very impressed with the 2015 class of tight ends, either, as the first tight end was drafted with pick No. 55 (Maxx Williams, Ravens). That's the latest the first tight end has come off the board in a draft since 1994. No tight end was picked in the first round in 2015. The 2016 tight end class hasn't taken full shape yet, as underclassmen have until a Jan. 18 deadline to apply for early draft entry. A tight end has been picked in the first round in just two of the past five drafts (Eric Ebron in 2014; Tyler Eifert in 2013), so it's not a big surprise when a first round goes by without a player at the position being picked.