Editor's note: 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. This week, he shares what he's hearing about the draft's top QBs, two rising prospects and USC's star CB.
The scoop: "After watching both of those guys work out, I think there is a good chance that we won't see a quarterback go inside the top 10 now. (Deshaun) Watson looked really average to me and I just didn't get a good vibe off (Mitchell) Trubisky when we talked to him at the combine. Trubisky is the better talent, but he's not a top-10 talent to me." -- AFC offensive coach
The skinny: This sentiment echoes the prevailing notion in scouting circles -- finding a franchise quarterback might be a difficult task in the 2017 draft. I also believe Trubisky is the more talented prospect and I see enough on tape to convince me he's worthy of a top-10 selection. However, I don't have access to team interviews and a big part of taking a quarterback early is being satisfied with a quarterback's leadership skills. Teams might not be buying into that side of Trubisky.
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The scoop: "Scouts tend to grade the tape and the person, but a lot of coaches push hard for traits and players who aren't close to being maxed out. Once coaches get involved in the process, they get really excited about these freaky guys like Tyus Bowser (OLB, Houston) and Adam Shaheen (TE, Ashland) and those are the guys who come off the board earlier than you expect. They might both go inside the top 40." -- NFC executive
The skinny: I've heard a lot of buzz in NFL circles about teams "racing" to draft Shaheen since it is so rare to find a tight end with his size, athleticism and separation quickness. Shaheen played against a lower level of competition in college, but he clearly has plenty of growth potential as a player. Bowser is an explosive athlete who is a projection-based prospect. He has been receiving steady buzz since Senior Bowl week. With his ability to move in space and teams coveting explosive edge-bending rushers, Bowser's move up the draft board is not a surprise.
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The scoop: "I really like (Adoree') Jackson from USC. I don't mind it when (cornerbacks) are a little smaller as long as they are great athletes and have some ball skills. He's got both. I like finding guys who are the better athlete than the guy they are matched on because they usually end up smothering the other guy." -- AFC defensive backs coach
The skinny: To paraphrase, this coach is saying that the better athlete will usually have his way in the matchup between wide receiver and cornerback. To this coach's point, Jackson is an outstanding athlete who has shown marked improvement as a cover corner over the past couple of years. Jackson's field fluidity and confidence were on full display at the NFL Scouting Combine, and teams took notice. With his ability to return kicks, he's likely to be picked inside the top 50 selections.