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: "There are going to be comparisons to J.J. Watt because they are both athletic white guys from the Big Ten, but (Joey) Bosa isn't in that same league no matter how hard people will try to push that come draft time. They both have good motors but Watt was much bigger and much stronger. Bosa doesn't overwhelm guys with pure strength like Watt does." -- Big Ten area scout on the Ohio State DE
The skinny: From a statistical standpoint, Bosa's sack numbers have fallen off from where they were last year, and yet, the hype surrounding his draft stock hasn't slowed one bit. The scouting community seems a little torn on what the ceiling is for Bosa, who is an underclassman and has yet to decide whether to return to Ohio State for his senior season or apply for early entry into the 2016 NFL Draft. One group believes that he'll become a complete talent who can impact the run and rush the passer effectively. The other group sees Bosa's ceiling as a solid defensive end who will never be a great NFL pass rusher and whose ceiling is that of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long's. Bosa has showed an ability to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage against the run this season, but he must prove he can become a dominant force as a pass rusher.
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The scoop: "Josh Doctson has had a terrific last two years in college, especially in 2015. He used his size and talents to great benefit, and played over the top of most defenders, and sometimes surprised people with a burst of speed. Overall, I like his talents, but I am not projecting him anywhere near the first round -- as is often heard when he plays a televised game. Right now, I have him graded as an early third rounder." -- AFC North scout on the TCU wide receiver
The skinny: Doctson got better and better throughout his career at TCU. His confidence really bloomed in 2014 and he not only carried himself like a No. 1 wide receiver, he played to that status. When big plays were needed in the passing game, he provided them, and that continued in a big way in 2015. A concern about him at the NFL level always centered around his top-end speed, and ability to get in and out of breaks cleanly. His size and power won the day at the college level ... he might need to add some niftiness and a bit of crafty to his game. He appears to be a mid-second to mid-third round prospect as we begin the full evaluation process.
The scoop: "This is shaping up to be a great secondary draft, especially at cornerback." -- NFC scout
The skinny: Top-rated senior prospects such as Duke safety Jeremy Cash, Houston cornerback William Jackson III, Mississippi State cornerback Will Redmond and Boise State safety Darian Thompson already highlight the 2016 NFL Draft class. There are also a number of underclassmen defensive backs leaning toward applying for early draft entry. It appears as if teams in need of help in the defensive back end will have plenty of options. The proliferation of the passing game in the NFL has created a massive demand for athletes who can help shut down opposing receivers. This is a recurring theme each year, but this draft could be particularly strong.