NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein is constantly talking to NFL and college sources about players in the college game. In this space each week, Zierlein will share some of what NFL folks are discussing in their circles.
The scoop: "John Ross is probably the fastest player in college football right now and I think he's going to end up being a better pro than Brandin Cooks. (Jake) Browning is a solid quarterback, but Ross is making his life really easy." -- NFC scout on the Washington WR
The skinny: Washington is one of the hottest teams in college football right now and Browning, UW's sophomore quarterback, is getting his share of national notice. It might be flying under the radar, but Ross, a junior, is piling up touchdowns. Between receptions (30), rushes (4) and kick returns (5), Ross has just 39 touches, but his 11 total touchdowns show just how dangerous he is when the ball is in his hands. Ross has average size (5-foot-11, 190 pounds, per school measurements) and will be viewed as a slot option with return abilities at the next level, but his elite speed will be tantalizing for scouts.
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The scoop: "I've (been scouting) Alabama for quite a while and I never remember them having an end like Ryan Anderson. They have had some big, strong guys but he's got anchor and twitch. I think he's the safest bet on that defense right now." -- AFC scout
The skinny: Anderson doesn't have the same blazing speed that teammate Tim Williams has, but he has more speed than most edge players we've seen recently from Alabama. His combination of athleticism and toughness at the point of attack is something that Williams is missing. Anderson has the edge-setting ability to compete and win against offensive tackles thanks to excellent hand usage and balance. While Anderson is likely to play outside linebacker in the pros, I agree with this scout that Anderson represents a new era of edge play for the Crimson Tide.
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The scoop: "I know (Myles) Garrett is the big-name guy but Daeshon Hall is a name that is going to get hot. I didn't think he had starting potential when he was an outside 'backer. Now that he's bigger and stronger and playing with his hand down, I think he's a different player. I see him as a second-day (Rounds 2-3) guy." -- AFC scout on the Texas A&M DE
The skinny: The Texas A&M senior is 6-6 and has added more muscle to his long frame this year, allowing him to play a true defensive-end role. In the past, Hall has played standing, but with his length and added weight, teams are now viewing him as a 4-3 defensive end or maybe even a 5-technique for a 3-4 team. Hall isn't as strong at the point of attack as guys like Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner were when they came out, but his ability to rush the passer has teams excited. Hall has 3.5 sacks over the last 3 games and should continue to get better as he gets comfortable rushing the quarterback from his new position.