One of the prevailing themes in the months leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft has been that this is not necessarily a top-heavy draft, but definitely makes up for it in depth.
This can be viewed through many prisms. The Simplistic: “No sure-fire franchise quarterbacks.” The Cynical: “Incredible value outside the skill positions, but at the skill position … meh.” The Blue Chips: “So, is it too late to just give Jadeveon Clowney a special eligiblity pass to spice things up?” And so on and so on. More than anything, it comes down to this class having a lot of intriguing options as starters and relatively fewer prospects viewed as certain superstars at this stage of the game.
Peter King got the wheels turning with an interesting take on the 2013 NFL draft class in yet another must-read Monday Morning Quarterback, comparing the 2013 class to the 2008 class that had a similar feel to it entering April — except King sprinkles a wonderful ingredient in making analysis called hindsight.
Pondering “not top-heavy but great on depth” from a rather micro perspective, King evaluated picks 1-10 overall in 2008 — or Jake Long, Chris Long, Matt Ryan, Glenn Dorsey, Vernon Gholston, Sedrick Ellis, Derrick Harvey, Keith Rivers and Jerod Mayo — against picks 11-20 overall — Leodis McKelvin, Ryan Clady, Jonathan Stewart, Chris Williams, Branden Albert, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Gosder Cherilus, Joe Flacco, Jeff Otah and Aqib Talib.
You can read where King goes with this in more detail, but pretty much the lower picks compare quite favorably against a top 10 in which you could argue only Ryan and Mayo delivered value worthy of their selection number. It will be interesting to see if this perceived lack of value up top translates to more trades involving top 10 teams in 2013 — headed by Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 1 — after six of the slated top-10 teams switched spots last year.