INDIANAPOLIS – For the past couple of years, I’ve tried to take full advantage of having media access to virtually every coach and general manager at the Combine.
Over two days, you can hear two of the most important voices of each franchise talk for about 15 minutes.
The focus for me usually resides on the Colts opponents for that upcoming season.
So as I listened to several general managers talk about their own teams, I couldn’t help but notice the strong stances they took on this year’s draft.
Draft gurus have labeled this year’s class as one of the deepest in a long time so to hear the men in charge of making the actual selections reaffirm, and even go beyond, that notion was impressive.
It started with Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert.
"I've been doing this for 30 years and this is the deepest draft that I've ever seen," the Steelers GM said on Thursday morning. "You can look across the board and I can't see a position where there isn't more depth than there's ever been."
While Colbert noted the depth of this year’s draft, he was quick to caution the record 98 underclassmen that have entered the 2014 class.
“This is a huge jump and even though it's a more talented group or the most talented group I've seen, I'm also worried it's probably the most immature group and we have to be prepared for more player development-type programs or maybe enhancing your player so as to get the most out of these younger players."
Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman followed Colbert’s lead.
“There's so many good players that you're going to get good players in the third and fourth rounds, for as deep as this draft class is,” Spielman said.
Later in the afternoon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht took to the podium and didn’t hesitate with his own draft assessment.
“The whole draft is really strong. Best draft I’ve seen.” Licht, a 20-year NFL veteran said. “It’s probably tilted a little more toward offense but it’s a strong draft.
On Friday afternoon, Ryan Grigson will address the media and it will be interesting to see if he holds the same sentiment as his fellow general managers.