NEW YORK (CBS SPORTS) – There are always a variety of opinions about the NFL Draft. Opinions are like, well, you know. But a high-ranking team executive says this: “Worst draft in past 10 years or longer.”

“When we look back at this draft in five or 10 years,” said the team executive, “we might view it as one of the worst we’ve seen in some time.”

What I’m hearing repeatedly from some team personnel men, as the draft gets closer and the honesty increases, is that this draft is subpar. Extremely subpar. Few team personnel want to say anything publicly about the paucity of talent out of fear of hearing from the NFL. There’s this thought process that if you criticize the draft, you risk the ire of the NFL; the league doesn’t want anyone publicly criticizing the draft out of fear of injuring television ratings.

While it’s generally acknowledged that teams can get solid players in later rounds of this draft, the quality of drafts are about franchise players. The exceptional. When a draft has a Manning or Elway or Marino or Newton or RG3, that is when scouts and league personnel marvel and smile.

The problem with this draft, says the general manager, is it possibly lacks two important qualities: franchise quarterbacks and large swaths of impact players. There will be more than a few solid players, this GM predicts, but not a large number of great ones.

“There will be 13-15 players picked in the first round that are true first-rounders,” he said. “That’s a fairly low number.”

Last year, according to the general manager, there were 20-23 players who were true first-rounders. That’s about average.

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