Two years ago at the Combine Pittsburgh Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert characterized the 2008 class of offensive tackles as "the best group I've seen in 24 years collectively." Considering that an NFL record eight offensive tackles were drafted in the first round, at least in one sense, he was proven correct.
Colbert again was willing to quantify a uniquely gifted lineman class. This time, however, he was describing the 2010 defensive line class.
"This draft, there are more defensive linemen than any draft I can remember in really 26 years I've been doing this," Colbert told the media at the Combine this morning. "It's not only depth, but the quality of the depth, as well."
I believe Colbert to be correct -- and wrote as much long ago.
We currently rate 9 defensive linemen among our top 32 prospects. They are, in order, Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh, Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy, Georgia Tech DE Derrick Morgan, Florida DE Carlos Dunlap, USC DE Everson Griffen, Tennessee DT Dan Williams, South Florida DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Michigan DE Brandon Graham, Penn State DT Jared Odrick and UCLA DT Brian Price.
Few front office executives are as willing to go on the record with strong statements as Colbert.
Considering the accuracy of his past statement (and his teams' success in finding defensive linemen), perhaps more should adopt his honesty.