INDIANAPOLIS – At the NFL Combine this past week, 48 coaches and general managers shared their thoughts on the depth of the 2015 Draft.
Listening to personnel people from across the league give their thoughts on the 2015 Draft class offered great insight into how the things might unfold from April 30-May 2.
Here's a break down on the depth of this year's class:
Quarterbacks: By all accounts this is one of the weaker quarterback classes in history. Yes, you have two elite prospects in Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. But after that, it severely drops off. If Matt Hasselbeck retires (he's also a free agent), could the Colts be in play, in the later rounds, for a quarterback?
Running Backs: This is where all the hype in the 2015 draft class lies. Virtually every GM spoke glowingly of this year's running back crop. It looks like two backs could go in Round One, after no ball carrier was chosen on the opening night of the draft in each of the last two years. The Colts are obviously in play for a running back.
Wide Receivers: One GM said last year's receivers group should have a "30 for 30" made on it. While this year's group has some high expectations to live up to, it sounds like the position is nearly as deep as 2014. Depending on the return of Reggie Wayne and free agency moves, the Colts could be in play here.
Tight Ends: In previous years, the tight end class has had some truly elite athletes. That doesn't appear to be the case in 2015. Of course, that is fine with the Colts as they have the most diverse, young tight end group in the NFL.
Offensive Line: Several GM's pointed out the deep tackle depth coming out this year. While the interior might not have top-line talent, it looks like the edge guys will produce another solid crop. The Colts drafted a tackle in the seventh-round last year and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see another offensive lineman drafted in May.
Defensive Line: From the sound of it, this is a strong draft for defensive linemen, particularly the interior guys. The Colts have been pegged as a team with a definite need up front on the defensive side of the ball. There are several interior guys that have been placed in mock drafts near the end of the first round. This need only increased after the news of the Colts parting ways with Ricky Jean Francois on Monday.
Linebackers: A few inside linebackers have tricked into the first/second round of the draft but this doesn't look like that deep of a class. Listening to GM's, one of the hardest things to decipher is how truly effective edge rushers are in transitioning from the college level. Pass rush is always a need when you're in the AFC.
Cornerbacks: The top-flight corners in this year's class seem to have more questions than we've seen the last few years. Corner is always a priority in this day-and-age in the NFL. The Colts don't have a ton of young talent at the position so this could be an option (more likely in the later rounds).
Safeties: Like quarterback, there's hardly any top-end talent at safety (outside of Alabama's Landon Collins). Safety is definitely a need for the Colts, particularly a young one. We saw a run on safeties late in the first round last year so that's something to keep an eye on when the opening round reaches the 20s in late April.