Sources Tell Us: Alabama's Da'Ron Payne just scratching surface

*Our analysts are constantly talking to NFL and college sources about players in the college game. This week, analyst Lance Zierlein shares some of what NFL folks are saying about two of the top prospects playing in the national championship game. *

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The scoop: "I think A'Shawn Robinson was more talented than Da'Ron (Payne) and I know Robinson had better (tackle-for-loss) and sack production than him, but Payne plays harder and I think he'll be the better NFL player. He's thick and strong, but he's also a really good athlete and I see his best football in front of him." -- NFL executive on Alabama DT Da'Ron Payne

The skinny: Payne showed off his athletic ability with an interception and a touchdown reception against Clemson in the Sugar Bowl. Payne is built like a wall of granite with elite body control and contact balance at the point of attack. While he's regarded as a run-stuffing specialist, he has the potential to improve as a pass rusher if he adds to his rush repertoire. Robinson was good at Alabama, but Payne might end up carrying a higher draft grade.

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The scoop: "He's what you want from a tackle but he's not even going to come in at (6-foot-3). He'll be a good player for a team who wants athletic guards. You might even see a team draft him as a center since he's stronger than a lot of the centers you will see in this draft." -- NFC area scout on Georgia OT Isaiah Wynn

The skinny: Wynn put together a very strong year of tape and would be considered a really solid tackle prospect if it weren't for his lack of overall length. He plays with good core strength and his hand placement is always on point. That bodes well for him should he move back, as expected, to guard, where he has previously played. While scouts have plenty of tape on Wynn, anytime an offensive line prospect is matched up against Alabama, the O-lineman has a chance to make or lose money and that will be the case with Wynn in the national championship game. I have a second-round grade on him heading into the game.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.

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