On Monday, NFL Network’s Mike Mayock held a conference call covering just about every aspect of the 2013 NFL Draft.
For more than two-and-a-half hours, the draft expert discussed a variety of topics ranging from what the Kansas City Chiefs should do with the No. 1 overall pick to his thoughts on how Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o should approach the combine.
One aspect of the call that stood out was Mayock’s take on the draft class as a whole.
“The top end of the draft, the top 10 picks, I don’t see the difference-makers like we’ve had the last several years,” Mayock said, noting that players like Von Miller aren’t available. “I think the quick snapshot of this draft is more depth.”
As far as where that depth is located, Mayock said it starts along the offensive line — center, guard and tackle.
“I’ve never seen two guards at the top end this good that could be top 10 picks,” he said. “Love them. I’ve got six tackles that I’ve given first round grades to. So the offensive line depth is really good.
To that point, Mayock said he considers four players worthy of the No. 1 overall pick, and they’re all on the offensive line — Alabama guard Chance Warmack, North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper, Texas A&M tackle Luke Joeckel and Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher.
In addition, he called the depth at defensive tackle and safety “outstanding.”
Where the draft gets a little thinner, Mayock said, is at positions like cornerback, where it’s anyone’s guess who the second corner off the board will be after Alabama’s Dee Milliner.
Same with running back, where Mayock has an Alabama player listed as the top option.
“At the running back position I only have one guy in the first round, and that is (Alabama’s) Eddie Lacy,” he said. “I think can you get running backs in the second, third and fourth round. I really do.”
He said he’s also “concerned” about the quarterback position as well as the tight end group after a solid top three.
Still, Mayock’s overarching point was that there is talent spread throughout the draft, not just at the top of the first round.
“I think we probably have better depth than we’ve had in the last 10 years,” he said.