Sources Tell Us: Scout scoffs at Leonard Fournette criticism

Editor's note: 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 RBs, a sleeper at QB and an intriguing offensive lineman.

The scoop: "It's interesting to talk to other scouts and find out where their priorities are. I was talking to a guy from another team who kept talking about (Leonard) Fournette's vertical jump (28.5 inches). Here is a guy who ran a 4.51 (40-yard dash) at 240 pounds and this guy was worried about his vertical. I guess he won't win the team slam dunk championship, but he will run over you." -- AFC national scout on LSU RB Leonard Fournette

The skinny: On a completely related note, I asked my father, who is an offensive line coach for the Arizona Cardinals, if a particular guard's slow 40 time concerned him and his exact quote was: "Yes. No way to use him on deep routes now." The point is that perspective is necessary. While some teams could look at Fournette's NFL Scouting Combine vertical-leap results (just two RBs in the last four combines posted worse vertical jumps) as a sign of excessive hip tightness, others might see it as completely irrelevant. I worry less about his vertical and more about his issues changing direction in the combine drills. I know he's big and explosive, but he must play in a downhill scheme.

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The scoop: "I knew he was really smart, but I thought he really did a great job in his (NFL Scouting Combine) interviews. He had a great feel for offensive concepts and could walk you through everything you wanted to see on the board. Accuracy is his issue; it's definitely not football intelligence." -- NFC personnel director on Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs

The skinny: Dobbs looked better on tape than I expected, but it still isn't of a starting-level caliber, and I'm not sure it is even that of a backup. Dobbs is a very dangerous runner with decent traits as a passer, but his accuracy and consistency aren't where they need to be as a passer. However, teams are often willing to take Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) fliers on quarterbacks who possess intelligence and some physical traits -- Dobbs obviously has both.

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The scoop: "I like him in interviews. I like the tape, too. I don't know if he's a tackle or a guard yet because I have to study him more, but he's really strong and he looks like an NFL starter is supposed to look." -- AFC assistant offensive line coach on Western Michigan's Taylor Moton

The skinny: In my estimation, Moton projects as a big, powerful right guard who might be able to step out and play some right tackle for a team if injury strikes. Moton has the physical attributes that offensive line coaches are going to love and he has the power that will make sense for a move to right guard. Offensive lines are their own clique and finding a guy who fits with the rest of the offensive line can be extremely important, which is why interviews can be critical for O-linemen.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter @LanceZierlein.

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