During a press conference at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters, per Chase Goodbread of NFL.com, that the 2014 NFL draft is "as deep across the board as any draft (he’s) seen in 30 years.”
Colbert, whose examples of finding draft depth since joining the Steelers in 2000 have included 2002 seventh-round pick Brett Keisel, 2003 fourth-round pick Ike Taylor and 2010 sixth-round pick Antonio Brown, isn’t the only one who sees depth in this draft.
“From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I’ve seen in probably ten years,” Mike Mayock said in a pre-combine conference call, according to Curtis Crabtree of ProFootballTalk.com. “That’s been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts I’ve talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a Top-20 pick this year is very similar to having a Top-10 pick last year.”
While there is plenty of talent at the top, from Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack to Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson, this year’s draft might be a better opportunity than ever for teams to trade down, stockpile picks and end up coming away with an exorbitance of talented players.
That said, teams’ ability to take advantage of the depth in this year’s draft class might depend on where their positional needs are.
While some positions might have more must-have talent at the top than value selections in the middle and late rounds, some teams might decide to pass on early-round talent at deeper positions to take advantage of steals who slide down the board.