Sources Tell Us: What we're hearing about top draft prospects

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, including the buzz on edge rusher Shane Ray, who takes part in Missouri's pro day Thursday.

The scoop: "He's not like other guys from Missouri that we've seen. He's got serious speed to get over the top of tackles, and those other ends didn't have it. You just wish he was a little longer." - NFC outside linebacker coach on Missouri DE Shane Ray

The skinny: If there is a knock on Ray, it's that he lacks ideal length as an outside rusher. At 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, with 33 1/8-inch arms, he was often engulfed and glued to the bigger tackles he faced. It's a concern some teams have for him, but Ray doesn't have many other weaknesses. He has elite power for his size, violent hands, and pursues the quarterback and the ball like it's his last snap. He explodes off the line like a coiled spring. Ray has the potential to be a dominant pass rusher in the NFL and a potential Pro Bowler.

The scoop: "Shelton is a bully. If you let him walk all over you early in the game, he's going to keep doing it. But watch how he kind of fades into the background when he goes up against guys who stand up to him. I want to see him show up all the time." - NFC area scout on Washington DL Danny Shelton

The skinny: With his thick frame and powerful upper body, Shelton has moments where he can dominate at the point of attack. But despite his girth and leverage, he can be a little inconsistent at getting push off the snap. He'll dominate lesser centers but doesn't seem to look nearly as dominant against more talented ones, and he'll occassionally quit on a play when he's blocked. Shelton's ceiling is that of an All-Pro such as Vince Wilfork, but he'll have to show greater consistency of effort.

The scoop: "I love the guy on tape. Big-time finisher in the run game and we need that. What I don't like is that his hands are bad as a pass blocker right now, and I'm not sure he gets that fixed right away. Other than that, he's pretty clean." - AFC offensive line coach on LSU OL La'el Collins

The skinny: Collins is a brawler who plays with a mean streak and could probably start right away as a guard in a power-running game in the NFL. The major concern teams have with him is in pass protection, particularly his hand usage -- he'll often start too low and must work hard to redirect. His change of direction is also slow for a tackle; he'll rely on lunging rather than moving his feet to counter inside moves. Still, he's well-schooled and technically proficient, and his ability to finish will make him an effective pro, although he'll most likely have to move inside or to right tackle.

The scoop: "He's pretty much what you are looking for if you are a 3-4 team. I think he can play inside or outside because he moves so well. Out of the top-rated outside 'backers, he's the best in my opinion." - AFC defensive coordinator on Clemson OLB Vic Beasley

The skinny: Beasley showed off some of his explosiveness at the combine, where he clocked the fastest 40 among linebackers (4.53) as well as strong times in the 3-cone drill (6.91) and 20-yard shuttle (4.15). There are some who believe he can fit in a 4-3 defense, similar to how the Broncos used Von Miller, but he projects best as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 and is arguably the top pure edge rusher in the draft, along with Dante Fowler Jr., Randy Gregory and Shane Ray. Beasley will be an absolute menace in the NFL for a creative defensive coordinator.

Follow Lance Zierlein on Twitter at @LanceZierlein.

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