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NFL Draft Rumor Mill

Ohio State Prospect Notes

Updated Aug. 29, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

In the 2016 NFL Draft, Ohio State was the dominant program for NFL talent. The Buckeyes had three players drafted in the top 10 and five players selected in the first round. Five more players were chosen on Day 2, and more prospects were taken the following day. However, despite losing those players to the NFL, the Buckeyes have a lot of talent for the 2017 NFL Draft. League sources have scouted their training camp practices and shared some interesting thoughts about Ohio State's 2017 crop.  

  • Inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan has impressed scouts with his speed and athleticism. McMillan was Ohio State's most consistent linebacker last year, and that includes top-20 selection Darron Lee. Sources sayMcMillan looked fluid and athletic. They see him as a potential three-down starter in the NFL, and he is among the top inside linebacker prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft. 
  • Ohio State coaches and staff have raved about guard-turned-center Pat Elflein to NFL scouts. They love Elflein and what he has done for the team. However, sources say that Elflein (6-3, 300) doesn't have a great body for the NFL. He needs a strong senior year to help teams look past his physical make-up. 
  • Sources say they've heard hype about the Buckeyes wide receivers, but they didn't blow away evaluators in fall practice. Seniors Dontre Wilson and Corey Smith have a big opportunity as the Buckeyes' top three wideouts from last year moved on to the NFL. They will need to be more impressive in game action this fall to validate that hype.
  • Redshirt sophomore cornerback Marshon Lattimore really impressed scouts. They say he has a first-round skill set. The 6-foot, 192-pound Lattimore could be in store for a breakout season. Sources say they also like junior corner Gareon Conley, but not as much as Lattimore. They think that Conkley and Lattimore could both enter the 2017 NFL Draft.  

Caleb Brantley Generating Some First-Round Buzz

Updated Aug. 25, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

The Florida Gators had one of the elite defenses in college football last year, and unsurprisingly, it was loaded with NFL talent. A lot of the attention was devoted to future first-round picks Vernon Hargreaves III and Keanu Neal with second-day defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard getting a ton of praise during the season. However, there were several other players who impressed NFL evaluators. One of those other young performersteams are excited for is defensive tackle Caleb Brantley. Sources say that entering this season, they see Brantley as a potential first-round talent.

The 6-foot-2, 314-pounder flashed a lot of disruption at the point of attack as a redshirt sophomore in 2015. He totaled 29 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks. While that isn't a huge sack total, it is a quality number for an interior defender, and Brantley showed the potential to be a three-down player in the NFL.

Many expect Brantley to forego his senior year and enter the 2017 NFL Draft. There were some rumblings that he was considering bolting for the NFL after last season when he was draft eligible. Brantley could stand to get more consistent with his production and show continued development in 2016. Teams already see him as a potential first-rounder, so if he builds on his redshirt sophomore season, Brantley could be in demand as a Thursday night selection.

Cordrea Tankersley Receiving First-Round Buzz

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

With the regular season nearly underway, NFL scouts are hitting the road as they start the evaluation process for the 2017 NFL Draft. Some scouts and teams do some studying on players 2016 tape before traveling, and as a result, there is buzz building about some players. There has been hype about Florida cornerback Jalen Tabor and USC cornerback Adoree' Jackson as top cornerback prospects, but another cornerback sources say they see as a future first-round talent is Clemson's Cordrea Tankersley.  

In 2015, Tankersley was part of a tough defense and a strong cornerback tandem with Mackensie Alexander. Teams tended to avoid throwing at Alexander, and Tankserley held up well in coverage. He had five interceptions, nine passes broken up, and 48 tackles. Even if Tankersley's listed numbers of 6-foot-1, 195-pounds are slightly exaggerated, he still has height and length to be an outside corner in the NFL. 

With Alexander in the NFL, Tankersley's production could decline as teams could avoid throwing at him. Scouts say that while the media hasn't given Tankersley a lot of attention, they view him as a potential first-rounder and are excited to see him this season. 

Multiple Sources See Marlon Humphrey As High First-­Rounder

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

There aren't many redshirt sophomores who are viewed as high first-rounders, but every few years, a special talent proves to be that kind of rare prospect. In the 2015 NFL Draft, a redshirt sophomore was the first-overall pick when Tampa Bay selected Jameis Winston. In speaking to sources at multiple teams, they see a redshirt sophomore who could be a high first-rounder in the 2017 NFL Draft in Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey.

After redshirting in 2014, Humphrey had an excellent debut to help Alabama win the National Championship. He earned a starting job across from Cyrus Jones as the Crimson Tide's top corner. Humphrey totaled 45 tackles with three interceptions and eight passes broken up in 2015.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pound Humphrey is an Alabama legacy as the son of Bobby Humphrey. Bobby Humphrey was a first-round pick who played for the Broncos and Dolphins. Sources from multiple teams have raved about Marlon Humphrey as a future high first-rounder nobody is talking about right now. One can expect that will quickly change during the 2016 season.

Sources View Mike McGlinchey as First-Round Talent

Updated Aug. 11, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

In the summer months leading up to the 2016 college football season, the offensive tackle prospects who have received the most attention have been Alabama's Cam Robinson and Florida State's Roderick Johnson. Robinson especially has received acclaim as a player, but also had some off-the-field issues with an arrest. However, in speaking with sources in the scouting community, they see another tackle with first-round talent in Notre Dame's Mike McGlinchey.

McGlinchey just put together a strong season of tape at right tackle that has impressed scouts. It was his second season as a starter, and McGlinchey formed an excellent tackle tandem with Ronnie Stanely. The 6-foot-7, 310-pound McGlinchey has strength and a physical style of play to open holes in the ground game. He also showed athleticism and this season he will move to left tackle to replace Stanley.

In the 2016 NFL Draft, four offensive tackles were selected in the top half of the first round as the passing-driven NFL is constantly in need of edge blockers to protect their quarterbacks. Scouts say they see McGlinchey as a first-round talent, and if he has a strong senior season at left tackle, McGlinchey has the potential to really rise.

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Sources Say Beware the Hype Train with Ben Boulware

Updated Aug. 8, 2016
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

During the 2015 season, there was a lot of hype about Ole Miss defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche being a high first-round pick. While Nkemdiche had a great skill set, he didn't produce up to it in his three years at Ole Miss while also having significant off-the-field issues. That prompted league sources to tell us that Nkemdiche was overhyped, and that was proven true as he became a late first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. In many ways, he was fortunate to be selected on Thursday night.

As training camps get going this year, sources say another player who could be overhyped this fall is Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware. In the scouting community, they've already heard hype about Boulware, but in studying preseason tape, he hasn't impressed enough to validate it.

Boulware had 82 tackles with 3.5 sacks, seven passes broken up, and two interceptions as a junior. The 6-foot, 240-pounder is expected to be the leader of the Clemson defense this season. Sources say that in preseason study, Boulware has not impressed them in terms of his athleticism and speed. They feel he is similar to Max Bullough, a linebacker from Michigan State who went undrafted in 2014.

Perhaps Boulware will take his game to another level as a senior. Clemson will need him to provide a big year as they lost three quarters of their starting defensive line and secondary to the 2016 NFL Draft. The early impression though of Boulware is that to beware of the hype train exaggerating Boulware's talents for the NFL.

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