Mike Mayock on Broncos prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Defense, defense, and more defense if Mike Mayock is running the Broncos' 2014 Draft.

NFL Network's Mike Mayock underwent a marathon conference call with media members Tuesday afternoon at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. He had some interesting comments about the draft overall and what the Broncos can expect at the 31st overall pick.

"From my perspective, this is the deepest and best draft class I've seen in probably 10 years," Mayock said. "That's been reinforced by most of the general managers and scouts I've talked to throughout the league. I had one GM tell me the other day that having a Top-20 pick this year is very similar to having a Top-10 pick last year."

While the Broncos don't have a Top-20 pick, one can still infer it's a good year to be drafting late. The Broncos will have talent available to them at 31st overall. Mayock was asked about how the Broncos might attack the draft.

Q. Your thoughts on picking that late for the Broncos, some of the best available defensive players?

MAYOCK: I think if you're talking at the back end at safety, a guy like Lamarcus Joyner from Florida State could be there and he's an explosive, quick switch athlete that can play safety or nickel. He played mostly corner at Florida State and he's got some special team ability, also.

And then that whole middle linebacker thing is interesting to me and I think most people would say it's a little high, a little rich for Chris Borland but I don't believe that. I think Borland could step in and immediately kind of stabilize that whole situation. And what other positions are you looking at?

Q. Corner and even before they got bumped in the Super Bowl, they kind of liked the Seattle model of bigger defensive end

MAYOCK: I think Scott Crichton is an interesting guy from Oregon State, defensive end. He reminds me a little bit of a poor man's Chris Long, great motor, tough against the run, will get hustle sacks. I like him a lot and 31 is about right for him.

"When you get to 31, it's like, okay, we hope it's a defensive player and who is the best guy left standing at that point."Mike Mayock

The corner situation, I mentioned earlier how much I like Kyle Fuller from Virginia Tech, he's a longer corner. I think he can flat out play and I'm anxious to see what he runs.

And guys like Keith McGill, you could get him in the second or third round, he's 6'3" and I just watched film his UCLA tape the other day and he has some skills, being a Seattle-type corner, he needs to be more consistent. I think you're right, when you get to 31, it's like, okay, we hope it's a defensive player and who is the best guy left standing at that point.

Some of these names are interesting. Mayock certainly parallels our line of thinking - safety, cornerback and linebacker will be Denver's top needs entering the 2014 draft - but some of his player rankings differ from ours. For example, Mayock admits that 31 might be high for ILB Chris Borland, but MHR's Christopher Hart has a third round grade on the Wisconsin senior.

One thing's for certain - it is very, very early in the draft analysis process. Player rankings will shift dramatically in the months ahead. It'll be interesting to see where Borland and each of these player's stock settles.

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