NFL Hot Press

Quincy Wilson, Jalen Tabor Planning on Entering Draft

Updated Nov. 23, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

One of the breakout prospects in college football this season has been Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson. Everybody in the nation was already familiar with junior corner Jalen Tabor, but Wilson was an unknown commodity as he served as the backup to Tabor and Vernon Hargreaves III during his first two years at Florida. Sources say that Tabor is going to enter the draft, but after an impressive junior season, they say that Wilson is planning on entering the 2017 NFL Draft as well.   

Sources say the 6-foot-1, 213-pound Wilson could end up being one of the top cornerback prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft. In 2016 he has 25 tackles with three passes broken up and three interceptions. Team evaluators feel that Wilson has above average speed. He is a longer press-man corner for the NFL with ball skills, but scouting sources say that there are aspects that Wilson needs to improve. Wilson does grab receivers a lot and could get called for pass interference penalties. They do feel he has above average feel and awareness. 

Tabor, meanwhile, has 26 tackles with four interceptions and two passes broken up this season. Some team sources say that Tabor has been overrated by the media, but he still could end up being a first-round pick. his best fit might be a big nickel in the NFL. Tabor is lacking long speed and gives up plays downfield. He is great underneath with very good feel and awareness. He is gambler and guesses a ton. Tabor is good when plays are in front of him, but gets in trouble with plays behind or over him. Team sources like other first-round corner prospects more than Tabor.  

The 2017 NFL Draft could have a number of first-round corners. Sources have said that Alabama's Marlon Humphrey and Ohio State's Marshon Lattimore have graded out as first-round prospects. Aside from those two, other corners that have first round potential include Washington's Sidney Jones, USC's Adoree Jackson, Iowa's Desmond King, and LSU's Tre'Davious White. Sources say that Wilson and Tabor are planning on coming out, so this could be an excellent year for teams to target cornerbacks.

West Virginia's Gibson and Douglas Creating Buzz

Updated Nov. 19, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Heading into a big game against Oklahoma on Saturday night, sources from multiple NFL teams say that two West Virginia Mountaineer draft prospects are creating a buzz in scouting circles. They are junior wide receiver Shelton Gibson and cornerback Rasul Douglas. Team sources say that while they haven't gotten a lot of hype, they are legit prospects that some teams are grading in the early rounds for the 2017 NFL Draft.  

The 6-foot, 198-pound Gibson is averaging 20 yards per catch during his junior season with 35 receptions for 701 yards and six touchdowns. Sources say that Gibson has some real speed to him, but isn't the biggest of receivers and needs to improve his route-running. That was an issue for 2015 Bears' first-round pick Kevin White coming out West Virginia because of the Mountaineers' spread offense. Some sources think Gibson should return for his senior year to improve on that before going pro, but in a weak receiver class he could make the leap considering he is getting projected into the early rounds. 

Douglas (6-2, 203) is a junior college product who didn't play much last year. However, he is making the most of his senior year, as he is one of the nation's leaders with six interceptions. He also has 50 tackles and six passes broken up. Sources say that Douglas has good size to him for the NFL and they see him being a big press man corner. He also has early-round potential, but sources say that since Douglas is a one-year wonder, he's going to need to impress at an All-Star game like the Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine. 

Both Gibson and Douglas could be early-round picks in the 2017 NFL Draft and they will have a lot of eyes on them when they take on Oklahoma. 

Some Teams Are High on Pat Mahomes

Updated Nov. 17, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Over the past decade, being a quarterback of a spread-option offense has hurt some prospects while not having an impact on others. A gimmick college offense didn't hold back Jared Goff from being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, while other running quarterbacks like Marcus Mariota, Robert Griffin III, and Johnny Manziel were all first-round picks. Other spread quarterbacks like Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Tajh Boyd have fallen to the second and third day of the draft despite video game like production in college. This year, there are a few quarterbacks prospects of that ilk, and one who has teams loving and hating him is Texas Tech junior signal caller Pat Mahomes II.  

Sources from one AFC team said they had a second-round grade on Mahomes and viewed him similarly to Derek Carr coming out of Fresno State. They were very high on Mahomes and think he could become a hot prospect in the lead up to his draft class. The scouting director of another AFC team said they liked Mahomes, but not that much. They graded him in the third round and don't think he is as good of a prospect as Carr. Another AFC team said they also had a second-day grade on Mahomes.  

A general manger of a NFC team said they had a fourth-round grade on Mahomes, but felt he had some tools to work with. That same team has a 3rd/4th-round grade on Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and a fifth-round grade on Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya. Another NFC team said they had Mahomes low and didn't like him as a prospect.  

The college system is a big part of the debate on Mahomes. At Clemson, Watson's offense is similar and he gets hit with some of the same concerns about being a schematic project for the next level. However, Watson is mostly dinged because he is an inaccurate as a passer, while Mahomes accuracy is considered much better according to sources. Both quarterbacks have a lot of screens and other quick throws with running plays mixed in that inflate their numbers, but don't translate to the NFL. Mahomes also works out of the shotgun all of the time, so he is going to need to learn how to work under center. His footwork and field vision will have to be developed more from there, but he does flash the ability to work through progressions, use mobility to buy time, and burn defenses with his arm downfield. Hence, there are some teams that love him and other teams that really don't like him as a prospect.  

Mahomes has completed 67 percent of his passes this season for 4,230 yards with 34 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also has 12 rushing touchdowns while leading the Red Raiders' point-machine offense. The 6-foot-3, 219-pounder has a thick build with a strong arm, so it wouldn't be surprising if he improves his grade during pre-draft workouts.

Mahomes could return for his senior year, but if he enters the draft, he looks like he could easily go on the second day of the draft. There are enough teams that like him, and quarterbacks rise because of the demand at the position. Some of these same teams didn't have a first-round grade on Goff, yet the Rams loved Goff enough to give up a fortune of draft picks and move up to the first-overall selection for him. Thus, at the quarterback position, anything can happen, and nobody should sleep on Mahomes as a prospect for the NFL just because he plays in a college system.

Multiple Teams Grade Brad Kaaya in Mid Rounds

Updated Nov. 10, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

It has been a number of years since the NFL had a strong quarterback class entering the league, and that streak looks likely to extend with an underwhelming 2017 NFL Draft. A few weeks ago, reported that multiple teams had second-day grades on Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson with two playoff teams projecting him as a late third-, early fourth-round pick. Watson isn't the only quarterback who is being graded lower than media hype would suggest. Miami's Brad Kaaya has been discussed as a potential early-rounder, but he is receiving mid-round grades in speaking with sources at multiple teams.    

Every area scout, national scout, scouting director, and general manager agreed with what has been writing all season in our college game recaps. Kaaya has two serious flaws of looking down at the rush when he feels pressure, and a crippling lack of mobility to avoid sacks. This season, Kaaya has completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,340 yards with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has had a number of underwhelming games.   

One general manager of a playoff team that is very skilled at quarterback evaluation said they had Kaaya as fifth-round pick. They feel he has no mobility and can't throw well while under pressure, and his arm is decent but doesn't blow them away. Two other teams said they graded Kaaya as a late third-, early fourth-rounder. 
Sources also say that Kaaya doesn't get high marks on leadership. He isn't a bad teammate, but he doesn't rally the troops or push the team in crunch time. There also has been talk that Kaaya is too concerned with the NFL, as he feels this could be a good time to come out. Supposedly, he knows that he is getting some mid-round grades but thinks he could rise into possibly the second round because of the weak quarterback class. Teams think Kaaya will probably skip his senior year and enter the draft, but if he does, he could be in for a long wait on draft day if a team doesn't reach and the league stays consistent with his mid-round grades.

Differing Views on Cam Robinson

Updated Nov. 3, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

It has become very clear that the 2017 NFL Draft could be very weak at the offensive tackle position. The top two prospects at the position are Notre Dame's Mike McGlinchey and Alabama's Cam Robinson. McGlinchey has suggested he might return for his senior year, and that could leave Robinson as the clear No. 1 tackle prospect. That could be very interesting because there have been some pundits that have stated that Robinson should be a guard or right tackle in the NFL. In speaking with multiple NFL teams, they have differing views of Robinson and project him in various places. 

One NFC team gave Robinson a second-round grade. They say that a team could get away with him at left tackle, but he could have problems with speed rushers. They said they project him similarly to Tampa Bay second-year left tackle Donovan Smith, who has had some good games and some bad ones protecting Jameis Winston's blind side.   

One AFC team said they had Robinson as a first-round pick, but in the back half. They think that he could be better suited to right tackle in the NFL, but a team could get away with him at left tackle. They believe that Robinson would give his team an edge in the run game on the left side. He has strength with the ability to latch on to defenders and control them. He isn't a drive blocker and his feet die on contact. They believe that Robinson would be an ideal right tackle in the NFL, but he is athletic and think that he will develop into a better player when coached up.   

A third team loved Robinson. According to their director of college scouting, they had Robinson as a top-15 pick and believe that he is a Russell Okung- or Ryan Clady-caliber left tackle for the NFL.    

Interestingly, none of the sources mentioned Robinson as having to move inside to guard. All three teams expect that Robinson should go on Thursday night. Even the team that gave him a second-round grade thinks Robinson will go in the mid-to-late first because he plays a premium position that is very weak in this draft. There are also are a number of offensive line-needy teams projected to pick in the back half of Round 1. While the consensus around the NFL doesn't view Robinson as a franchise left tackle, he looks like a safe bet to be a Thursday night selection.  

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