Our analysts are constantly talking to NFL and college sources about players in the college game. This week, NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein shares some of what NFL folks are saying about one of the top defensive prospects in college football and the FBS leader in rushing yards.
Note: Click through the tabs above to see Sources Tell Us from previous weeks.
The scoop: "He's not quite on the same level of Jamal Adams when it comes to changing the entire culture of a locker room, but he is just as talented and probably more versatile." -- AFC executive on Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick
The skinny: Fitzpatrick, a junior, has been one of the most consistently productive and impactful players to play for Nick Saban over the last decade.
With a career resume that includes nine interceptions (four returned for touchdowns), 23 pass breakups and some big plays on special teams, the Chuck Bednarik Award (top defensive player) winner has been all over the field while helping to make the Crimson Tide a dominant defensive force. Fitzpatrick plays with a tremendous motor. He has the ability to cover the slot, play deep safety, blitz or even help in run support near the line of scrimmage.
Adams was the first DB picked in the 2017 draft (No. 6 overall to the Jets) and he has lived up to his billing as a rookie. Fitzpatrick's versatility and football character will make him a highly coveted prospect whenever he decides to head to the pros. I'm looking forward to seeing him match up against a talented group of Clemson receivers in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.
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The scoop: "You know exactly who he is when you watch the tape. I don't think there are going to be any surprises when you get him into our league because you know he is going to make guys miss and he's going to run hard every snap." -- NFC regional scout on San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny
The skinny: Penny will finish off his SDSU career on Saturday against Army in the Armed Forces Bowl. He was consistently dominant in 2017, finishing the regular season with an FBS-best 2,027 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. I agree with this scout's assessment that Penny's tape provides a clear representation of who he is as a runner. Penny is a slasher who understands angles and runs through arm tackles. While there might be some debate about his ceiling, I expect to hear Penny's name called on Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) of the 2018 draft.