Our analysts are constantly talking to their NFL and college sources about draft prospects. Lance Zierlein shares some of what NFL folks are discussing in draft rooms throughout the league.
The scoop: "After watching the tape, talking to both guys and seeing them work out, I have Petty ahead as my third quarterback." -- AFC quarterbacks coach on Bryce Petty vs. Brett Hundley
The skinny: Petty showed good velocity on his throws during his NFL Scouting Combine workout and was said to have improved his stock by many scouts and coaches in attendance. Both Petty and Hundley checked in with decent size -- while Hundley was the better overall athlete -- and both had above-average hand size. Team sources raved about Hundley's interviews and it is hard to determine just where both quarterbacks are stacking up on team boards at this point.
The scoop: "(Kevin) White and (Byron) Jones had explosive workouts, but I didn't think anyone had a better combine than (Trae Waynes). He was faster than I thought and looked great in the drills. He's the top corner and I don't think it's close." -- NFC director of personnel
The skinny: The cornerback position featured Waynes, Ronald Darby and Jones, who all impressed, but the consensus has been that Waynes had the best all-around day of any defensive back. At Michigan State, Waynes was a press-man corner with good recovery speed, but teams were able to see just how fluid his backpedal and hips were in drills, which allows them to project him into a variety of coverages. Tastes in cornerbacks can vary from team to team, but it will be hard to project another cornerback ahead of Waynes at this point.
The scoop: "This draft class has some of the most intelligent prospects I've ever spoken with. Most of our interviews were great. My three favorite were probably Kevin White (WVU), Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) and (Alex) Carter (Stanford)." -- AFC executive
The skinny: Most coaches and front-office types want to see great tape first, followed by good measurables and then a good interview. While draft and combine prep has included help with the interviewing process, prospects can't fake football or personal intelligence. White played just two seasons at West Virginia, but was asked to take on more routes and responsibilities this season and was up to the challenge. He was also very natural in every interview he had with media members. Gordon was two-time Academic All-Big Ten and interned at Merrill Lynch this summer. Carter is a psychology major at Stanford, and his father Tom Carter was a first-round draft pick out of Notre Dame and spent 10 seasons in the NFL.
The scoop: "That Minnesota tight end came across as all about himself from what people in our room said. They were a little turned off by him." -- NFC regional scout about Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams
The skinny: Maxx is the son of Brian Williams, who played for the New York Giants, and like many prospects who have a father who played in the league, Maxx has an abundance of confidence on the field. While we weren't in the rooms during interviews, we understand that there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. However, almost every team would rather default to a player with ego over a player lacking confidence. We contacted one general manager to get his take and he had no problems with his interview with Williams, but he didn't think Williams' workout went as well as he expected.
The scoop: "Between the two Clemson linebackers (Vic Beasley and Stephone Anthony), they really put on a show. Beasley is going high." -- AFC defensive coordinator
The skinny: Everyone anticipated Beasley to have an explosive workout, but most teams didn't expect Beasley to come in at 246 pounds after weighing much less than that during the season. Beasley's 41-inch vertical leap combined with his 4.53 40-yard dash with his additional weight was impressive, but teams were even more impressed with how fluid he was in space and with his ability to change directions with ease. Anthony generated pre-combine buzz at the Senior Bowl practices, and then followed that up with a strong combine highlighted by a 4.56 40-yard dash with a 4.03 20-yard shuttle showing off outstanding lateral movement and change-of-direction ability.