Tuesday Draft Notes -- 10.0

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

As we get closer to the end of the regular season in college football, expect more news on underclassmen entering the draft. In this edition of Tuesday Draft Notes, we report on some surprising news at the quarterback position.

Last week we reported that UCLA tackle Kolton Miller is likely to enter the draft. I’ve since been told that Miller has been getting high grades from scouts, who expect the Bruins left tackle to land in the second round if he declares. I’m told people in Miller’s camp feel he’ll be a mid-first round selection, an opinion not shared in the scouting community.

According to those close to the situation, it’s almost a forgone conclusion receiver Simmie Cobbs Jr. of Indiana will enter the draft, and many believe he’s close to deciding on representation. As we reported more than a month ago, scouts grade Cobbs as a second-day pick.   

I’ve learned that Ohio State’s Denzel Ward is likely to enter the draft, and I would expect the junior to battle for one of the top spots at the cornerback position. Ward has shown great improvement in his game this season, translating his incredible athleticism and speed into football ability.

On the quarterback front I was very surprised to learn from multiple sources that a pair of Big Ten quarterbacks, Tanner Lee of Nebraska and Clayton Thorson of Northwestern, are both heavily leaning towards entering the draft. 

Some are of the opinion it’s a foregone conclusion.

As one insider told me it was “one foot in the door, one foot out the door” for both signal callers before the season even began and that it would’ve taken something major for both to return to school. 

Despite the fact neither has played particularly well this season, I’m told the unimpressive play by the top-rated quarterbacks is making the decision easier. The expectations of a coaching change at Nebraska are also pushing Lee to declare for the draft.

I’m told the situation on a decision from Sam Darnold is no different now then what we reported on October 4 -- he won’t really start exploring his next-level options until the season is over.

On an interesting note, sources tell me that former NFL quarterbacks Trent Dilfer and Jordan Palmer are working with Darnold and will help with the decision-making process. 

Dilfer was an outstanding analyst for ESPN before getting caught up in the cuts that took place at the network last April. 

Palmer has worked with several quarterbacks in the lead-up to the draft in recent years. He scripted the pro day for Blake Bortles in 2014, and to this day it was one of the most professionally scripted workouts I’ve witnessed.