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: "I thought (UCLA head coach) Jim Mora stepped way over the line with his comments about Myles Jack. Those are comments you might make in private to the kid, but you don't make them public. Jack has plenty of tape to fall back on, trust me. He's going to go in the first." -- NFC executive
The skinny: This executive is referring to comments made this week by Mora, who questioned Jack's decision to leave school and pursue his NFL dream after suffering a season-ending meniscus tear in practice last month. Mora said two weeks ago that the star linebacker's recovery would take 4-6 months. Jack has said his goal is to compete at the NFL Scouting Combine, which is about five months away. Jack's tape has been uneven thanks to the many tasks that UCLA has asked of him, but Jack's explosiveness and twitch are what could get him drafted in the first.
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The scoop: "To be honest, I don't see (Notre Dame OT) Ronnie Stanley catching (Ole Miss OT Laremy) Tunsil on a draft board even if Tunsil never plays this year. He's so talented and technically refined for his age that missing this time won't hurt him like it would have hurt other prospects." -- NFC scout on the absence of Tunsil, who has not played this season due to an NCAA investigation
The skinny: Tunsil is also my top-rated tackle in college football. However, I must admit that Stanley has shown noticeable improvement with his run blocking, and his pass-protection skills are right up there with Tunsil's. Left tackles with the kind of size, length and skills that Tunsil possesses find themselves taken in the top 10. I would also bet that missing time won't hurt his stock.
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The scoop: "I studied Jack Allen the other day and I liked him. He's so well-liked in that building and his effort is so good on every snap that I don't mind his physical limitations." -- NFC scout on the Michigan State center
The skinny: Allen has been an anchor for Michigan State. He's known for his football IQ and leadership qualities. As a center prospect, his size (listed at 6-foot-2, 296 pounds) will probably push him down the draft board more than some might expect, but he has an unusually strong anchor for a player without as much mass. Michigan State's run will be triggered by QB Connor Cook, but players like Allen are much bigger difference makers than most realize.