Sources Tell Us: Exec says Jamal Adams not a game changer

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 one of the draft's top safeties, a WR who draws a comp to Anquan Boldin and the draftable talent, or lack thereof, from one of college football's Power Five conferences.

The scoop: "I don't think Jamal Adams is going to go as early as I see people mocking him. He's a good player but I don't think he's a game changer. If you are going to be a safety who goes inside the top five, you better make a ton of plays. Look where Landon Collins went. Adams isn't better than Collins." -- NFC executive

The skinny: Collins was the first selection of the second round (pick 33) and has been outstanding with the Giants over the last two years. My gut reaction is to assume that Adams will, in fact, go inside the first five or six picks. In fact, I think the success of Collins will drive up Adams' stock. However, there are certain philosophies in the draft that are fairly static, and if a team doesn't see great value in Adams as a deep safety and expects him to mostly play in the box, then there is a chance he could slide just a little bit.

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The scoop: "I would be interested to see where other teams have JuJu (Smith-Schuster) because I absolutely love him. He reminds me so much of Anquan Boldin the way he creates space for himself and how physical he is after the catch. He will end up being as good or better than those receivers they are mentioning in the first round." -- AFC WR coach

The skinny: The receivers most prominently mentioned in the first round are Clemson's Mike Williams, Western Michigan's Corey Davis and Washington's John Ross. For the record, my NFL comparison for Smith-Schuster is Boldin, and that is because I see the exact same thing on tape that this coach sees. He's not the fastest receiver, which is why he's unlikely to go in the first round, but he can make contested catches and has tremendous ball skills down the field. While I like Smith-Schuster quite a bit, I have him as the 41st-rated prospect and No. 4 receiver in the draft.

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The scoop: "This year has been a huge waste of time for me. This is about as soft as I've seen the Big 12 area in years. ... Texas, Nebraska, TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech ... terrible for prospects. People check out when I go through my readings." -- AFC regional scout

The skinny: There really isn't anything to argue about on this one. The Big 12 is a big snooze as it pertains to the draft this season. Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes is likely the only Big 12 prospect with a shot to go in the first round since Oklahoma's Joe Mixon is expected to fall due to off-field concerns. Texas and Oklahoma State have a couple of interesting potential prospects next year, but it's a down year and a down cycle for draft talent in the Big 12.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.

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