NFL Media 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: "Paxton Lynch is moving up. I need to study him more, but guys with his size that can move like he does -- he has a chance to be big time." -- NFC area scout on Memphis' junior QB
The skinny: Before the season, I noted that Lynch had the size, arm and athleticism that teams look for, but that he needed to hit the explosive plays at a higher clip. Lynch has done just that this season. He had 26 passes of 25-plus yards in 413 attempts (6 percent of his throws) last season, but those numbers have risen considerably this season with 18 throws of 25-plus yards in 199 attempts (9 percent of his throws). At 6-foot-7, Lynch is surprisingly athletic outside of the pocket and his arm talent is definitely not in question. Lynch has shown considerable growth as a quarterback over the last three seasons and his stock will be highly discussed whenever he decides to enter the draft.
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The scoop: "All this talk about (Corey) Coleman being the best player in college football or one of the greatest receivers ever is funny to me since he's coming out of Baylor's system. He has crazy quicks, and I'm not saying he's not a player, but he's still undersized and another Phillip Dorsett type." -- AFC executive on the Baylor WR
The skinny: Coleman might play in a pass-happy scheme that has generated outrageous statistics in the past, but that same Baylor offense featured NFL receivers like Terrance Williams, Kendall Wright and Josh Gordon. Over his last 16 games, Coleman has amassed 105 catches for 1,996 yards and 27 touchdowns. His foot quickness allows him to shake defenders out of breaks and elude tacklers after the catch. He also has the speed to win over the top. Coleman isn't as tall as teams would like (listed at 5-11), but the NFL has become increasingly more tolerant of smaller targets.
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The scoop: "I'm not as high on Reggie Ragland as you are. I just don't trust his speed and I saw him give up a couple of big runs because he misjudged either his own speed or the running back's speed. Either way, I think he's just a banger and not really a playmaker." -- NFC West scout on the senior Alabama LB
The skinny: Ragland's play speed has been discussed for a couple of years now in scouting circles with no true consensus of where it stands as an NFL prospect. The tape shows a player with average speed to the perimeter (think Rey Maualuga at USC), but he makes up for that with plus instincts and great finishing ability as a tackler. Ragland rarely gets caught out of position and he does just about everything teams like to see from inside linebackers. His speed might not be great, but my guess is that it will be good enough to land him in the second round, at worst.