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    • michael89156

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      NFL Draft 2014: Five prospects who are May 8's safest picks April 26, 2014 1:04 PM EDTBy Vinnie Iyer      Sporting News RSS Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney are the most dynamic prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft, but as great their upsides are, they aren't without peccadillos. Looking back on draft history, there's no such thing as a sure thing, especially with quarterbacks and defensive linemen. But what defines a "safe" pick?safe_zps67ee38d8.jpgFrom left: Khalil Mack, Zach Martin, Jake Matthews (AP Photos) It's a player about whom a team should feel confident that he willa) Live up to where he was drafted; andb) Deliver well at the position for which he was drafted. In other words, it's the best reward selection for the risk-averse team.Optimum Scouting big board: top 100 players  | Stinkers: each team's worst pick Here are the five safest picks for the night of May 8, sandwiched by (no surprise) two offensive linemen:1. Jake Matthews, tackle, Texas A&M Athletic blindside pass protector? Check. Powerful run blocker? Check. It doesn’t hurt that he comes from a family of NFL blue bloods more impressive than the Mannings. Here’s your latest reminder that Jake’s father Bruce, a 14-time Pro Bowler and Hall of Famer, was one of the best offensive lineman in NFL history. Matthews is a more talented all-around prospect than either Eric Fisher, last year's first overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs; and the Jacksonville Jaguars' Luke Joeckel, his former Aggies teammate who went No. 2. He's technically sound and doesn't need to rely all on athleticism, a trait of every decade-long left tackle. Matthews may go a few picks after Manziel, but he is scouts' easy choice for the safest pick2. Sammy Watkins, wide receiver, Clemson In a deep, diverse wideout class, Watkins is the best deep threat and the most diverse target. He transcends the position, as his speed and quickness translate to making explosive plays no matter where he lines up on the field. Best of the best: Watkins leads elite WR class Think of what Tavon Austin and Cordarelle Patterson brought to the NFL as first-round picks last season. Then thrown in the fact Watkins has more consistent hands and is tougher in coverage traffic than either of them. In terms of production combined with future potential, it doesn’t get much better.3. Khalil Mack, outside linebacker, Buffalo This doesn’t mean Mack will be a better NFL edge pass rusher than Clowney, but he just comes from a position whose players are less frequent busts and usual more well rounded. With most the league’s defenses relying on hybrid schemes, Mack’s versatility is a good fit with every team. Mack proved to be durable with his fast and physical style. He also answered all questions about his MAC pedigree by keeping up his high level in non-conference games.4. C.J. Mosley, inside linebacker, Alabama For any base 3-4 team seeking an inside linebacker with pro-style polish, Mosley is a slam dunk now that he has alleviated concern about injuries. He sets up as not just reliable player from an elite program, but a real steal in the second half of the first round. The current range for him to be drafted is from 20-22. The Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles all should be ready, as Mosley is bound to be the best player available in that range.5. Zack Martin, guard, Notre Dame The best interior offensive line prospect in the 2014 class, Martin stood out outside with the Fighting Irish. He is rising up draft boards as he proves he can make the transition from tackle in postseason workouts. The ideal traits of playing guard are power, toughness, durability. Any concerns about his height and athleticism go away because of that ability to slide inside. Martin is projected most to the Miami Dolphins at No. 19, but the secret is out: He may not last that long.

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    • Anonymous

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      I would say Mack is.

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    • Anonymous

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      Jake Matthews by a mile. Bad list otherwise. Mosely or Mack need the right system. Watkins lol....and Zack Martin? LOLz. Overrated guys who will be no more than average. I have 3 safe bets:MatthewsEvansDonald

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    • Anonymous

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      Jake Mathews plain and simple. Everyone loves Greg Robinson but I’m not sold. I think Mosley and Donald are the safest on the Defensive side of the football but both need to go to solid 4-3 football teams to fully succeed at the NFL level.

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    • Anonymous

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      Mack, Donald, Mathews.

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    • Anonymous

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        When I think of “safe pick”, I think “least likely to be a head case”. They all have enormous physical skills. Gotta go with GoldsonAges’ 3, with Mosley in the mix too.

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    • Anonymous

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      Matthews easily. Great technique, physical tools and production.

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    • Anonymous

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      Matthews with Mosley a close second

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    • Anonymous

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      Matthews easily. Great technique, physical tools and production.

      This

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    • Anonymous

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      Aaron DonaldGreg RobinsonJake MathewsJarvis LandryKyle Fuller Zack MartinJason VerrettShould be interesting to look back on this thread in two years.

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    • Anonymous

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      Jake Matthews by a mile. Bad list otherwise. Mosely or Mack need the right system. Watkins lol....and Zack Martin? LOLz. Overrated guys who will be no more than average. I have 3 safe bets:MatthewsEvansDonald

      I was with you, up until the Sammy mention.

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    • Anonymous

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      Zach Martin was dominate at senior bowl.  I wouldn’t LOLZ him about being a safe pick.  He isn’t going to go in the top 20 anyways line these other guys . 

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    • Anonymous

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      I don’t see how you could go wrong with Clowney TBH.  He has the bone spurs thing, but that is easily taking care of. Its not like Bowers, with the degenerative knee probs. That is a totally different thing.

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    • Anonymous

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      Work ethic .  Sapp, Evans and Woodson said they wouldn't take him #1 becsuse of it

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    • Anonymous

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      Aaron Donald; but, then again, I’ve never been much into oline(doesn’t mean I don’t consider them of utmost importance).

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    • Anonymous

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      Work ethic .  Sapp, Evans and Woodson said they wouldn't take him #1 becsuse of it

      I hear ya, but I am not buying it.  Its the season to get your mug on ESPN by tearing down EVERY prospect in the draft. No one is safe.

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    • Anonymous

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      Greg Robinson… He has the tools to be a great LT but at the least he’ll be a monster at Guard.

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    • Anonymous

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      Greg Robinson... He has the tools to be a great LT but at the least he'll be a monster at Guard.

      I would be all for it, if Clowney and Sammie are gone already, as expected.

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    • Anonymous

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      Just to throw another name out there, Im becoming a bit of a Kony Ealy fan. Dude garnered lots of attention on that MIzzou front, and allowed players like Michael Sam to reap the benefits. Not as high a ceiling as the top 3 pass rushers, but maybe a comparable floor, ya mean?Also scott chrichton outta Oregon State, another high motor, good power/speed combo who at worst should be a solid LDE.

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    • Anonymous

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      Just to throw another name out there, Im becoming a bit of a Kony Ealy fan. Dude garnered lots of attention on that MIzzou front, and allowed players like Michael Sam to reap the benefits. Not as high a ceiling as the top 3 pass rushers, but maybe a comparable floor, ya mean?Also scott chrichton outta Oregon State, another high motor, good power/speed combo who at worst should be a solid LDE.

      I like Ealy too, but the thing is, #7 is too early, and he will be gone by the 2nd. So unless they trade back from #7, I don't see it happening.

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    • Anonymous

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      All these DT Donald fans… the guy just reminds me of another Amobi Okoye.  Time will tell I guess

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    • Anonymous

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      All these DT Donald fans... the guy just reminds me of another Amobi Okoye.  Time will tell I guess

      I have been meaning to ask J-dub where he see's Donald fitting in.  I know he is a big fan of him.

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    • Anonymous

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      Just to throw another name out there, Im becoming a bit of a Kony Ealy fan. Dude garnered lots of attention on that MIzzou front, and allowed players like Michael Sam to reap the benefits. Not as high a ceiling as the top 3 pass rushers, but maybe a comparable floor, ya mean?Also scott chrichton outta Oregon State, another high motor, good power/speed combo who at worst should be a solid LDE.

      I am a big Critchton fan as well. Would have to consider him in the 2nd. Ealy I dont like. Sam was his sub if Im not mistaken, and Sam had more production in less snaps. In other words, I dont think Ealy helped Sam look good at all except for that Sam did better compared to him.

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    • Anonymous

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      Just to throw another name out there, Im becoming a bit of a Kony Ealy fan. Dude garnered lots of attention on that MIzzou front, and allowed players like Michael Sam to reap the benefits. Not as high a ceiling as the top 3 pass rushers, but maybe a comparable floor, ya mean?Also scott chrichton outta Oregon State, another high motor, good power/speed combo who at worst should be a solid LDE.

      I am a big Critchton fan as well. Would have to consider him in the 2nd. Ealy I dont like. Sam was his sub if Im not mistaken, and Sam had more production in less snaps. In other words, I dont think Ealy helped Sam look good at all except for that Sam did better compared to him.

      I haven't seen much of Ealy in game tape, but he looked good in that video of him and Gerald working out, that was posted here awhile back. He reminded me of Simeon.

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    • Anonymous

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      I think this thread is veering away from “safest” pick.

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    • Anonymous

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      Kalil Mack. Sick athlete but that’s not why. Mack was an unknown for the most part until his senior year. He was not heavily recruited in high school and had to go to a poor division 1 program just to get a shot. The guy has been a hard work and effort guy for a long time. He’s got what you need in the NFL, a little chip on your shoulder that keeps you working hard. I would take Mack with the #1 pick right now and not think twice about it.

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    • Anonymous

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      Mack played vs very weak competition, was rarely ever double teamed (only 3.7% of the time), and a lot of his pressures came from stunts. He is a promising prospect with great potential….but far from a safe pick. Plus he needs to go to a 3-4 defense. If he goes to a 4-3 and is expected to transition to DE, he will be even more of a risky pick. Attaochu in the 2nd round is a much safer pick than Mack in the top 5.

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    • Anonymous

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      Safe makes us mediocre IMO.Khalil Mack, Jake Matthews, CJ Mosely and Sammy Watikins are the safest players in the first round from my perspective.  (All other rounds are not considered.)The only difference between  a top ten pick and the last pick in round 1 is the contract...  Top ten guys get a fifth year option.  It really isn't about the money anymore...

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    • Anonymous

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      Safe makes us mediocre IMO.

      Nope, that's just wrong.Why do people think they need to take a boom or bust risk in order to have a chance at getting better. I don't get it. There are no safe or risky picks. It's not a lottery and you're not drawing a number hoping it's a winner. This is a somewhat calculated and assessed choice. Guys are what they are, it's up to the teams to sort through the things that don't matter and pick based on the things that do matter. The idea that JFF is a riskier pick and has a higher ceiling than TB is just wrong. Manziel is a scrambler and therefore people think he can be Peyton Manning and Mike Vick combined, nope, doesn't work. It seems easier to measure a guy like JFF because he can create but the truth is his ceiling is no higher or lower than TB. They play different games and who's game can elevate the most has nothing to do with how much they scramble or how hard they are to tackle.  Who can elevate their game the most is a result of how well they can understand the game.

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    • Anonymous

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      Some folks seem to think safe pick = mediocre talent.

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    • Anonymous

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      Ok.  Maybe the statement was too hard lined.  Safe Picks are not going to help us if we don't have a legitimate need at the position, UNLESS we are consistent contenders.

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    • Anonymous

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      I think Matthews is the obvious one, but I feel like there are quite a few safe picks in this draft provided they put them in the right system.

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    • Anonymous

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      Anyone who has looked at the last five years of highly drafted Alabama back 7 defensive players and think CJ Mosley is “safe” must be smoking crack.

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    • Anonymous

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      Yeah, I agree that safe picks doesn’t necessarily mean mediocre.  But I also agree with BucNY that the idea that there are truly any safe picks is shaky at best.  I mean, ok, you have the Calvin Johnson’s of the world, but I’m sure y’all also remember how Aaron Curry was the easy-peasy choice as the safest pick of his draft.

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    • Anonymous

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      Aaron Donald is probably the safest pick of the draft. He is going to be disruptive and he has good character, strong work ethic, and no injury record.Greg Robinson would be the 2nd safest imo because if by some chance he didn't work out at OT, he would almost certainly be an All Pro OG. Same goes for Zach Martin.Kyle Fuller has gotta be there for me because the tape just shows it and the stats back it up. The kid looks like Jonathan Joseph on film and has great character, leadership, and work ethic.Anyone who knows the truth about Jarvis Landry knows he is a safe pick. Especially if he goes in the 2nd or 3rd round. That guy is everything you want in an NFL player.

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    • Anonymous

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      Anyone who has looked at the last five years of highly drafted Alabama back 7 defensive players and think CJ Mosley is "safe" must be smoking crack.

      Good point.

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    • Anonymous

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      :)  On the crack I guess…"...The leader of the Crimson Tide's suffocating defense, Mosley is highly thought of among the scouting community and could end up as a top 10 pick in May. Mosley is as well-rounded and disciplined a linebacker as this draft class has to offer. His 107 tackles in 2012 were the second-highest total by an Alabama linebacker in the past 25 years (DeMeco Ryans had 126 in 2003) and 48 more than the next Tide defender last season (fellow inside linebacker Trey DePriest). Mosley also recorded eight tackles for loss, four sacks and two interceptions.Tough and athletic, with the keenest instincts of any linebacker I've scouted since Lofa Tatupu, Mosley is constantly around the ball and is often making big plays as a result. (11/14/13)...""...COMPARES TO: Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Like David, Mosley's combination of toughness, elite instincts and superb athleticism offer the versatility of lining up inside or out, and have enabled him to be one of the nation's top all-around linebackers.."(Putting the pipe down for now.)

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    • Anonymous

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      Aaron Donald is probably the safest pick of the draft. He is going to be disruptive and he has good character, strong work ethic, and no injury record.Greg Robinson would be the 2nd safest imo because if by some chance he didn't work out at OT, he would almost certainly be an All Pro OG. Same goes for Zach Martin.Kyle Fuller has gotta be there for me because the tape just shows it and the stats back it up. The kid looks like Jonathan Joseph on film and has great character, leadership, and work ethic.Anyone who knows the truth about Jarvis Landry knows he is a safe pick. Especially if he goes in the 2nd or 3rd round. That guy is everything you want in an NFL player.

      I like Donald, but where do you see him going?  To the Bucs at #7?

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    • Anonymous

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      The safest pick in this draft has to be Jake Matthews.  He has the body, the technique, and the bloodlines.  I mean come on- his dad and uncle are in the HoF, his cousin is AllPro, even his grandfather was a pro ball player.

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    • Anonymous

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      I would throw Timmy Jernigan’s name into the hat as a safe pick this year.  Dude is a beast with a non stop motor who loves to play the game. 

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    • Anonymous

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      Aaron Donald is probably the safest pick of the draft. He is going to be disruptive and he has good character, strong work ethic, and no injury record.Greg Robinson would be the 2nd safest imo because if by some chance he didn't work out at OT, he would almost certainly be an All Pro OG. Same goes for Zach Martin.Kyle Fuller has gotta be there for me because the tape just shows it and the stats back it up. The kid looks like Jonathan Joseph on film and has great character, leadership, and work ethic.Anyone who knows the truth about Jarvis Landry knows he is a safe pick. Especially if he goes in the 2nd or 3rd round. That guy is everything you want in an NFL player.

      I like Donald, but where do you see him going?  To the Bucs at #7?

      No idea. He would literally be a great pick by any of the top 16 teams and could end up going to any of them. I'll be very surprised if he makes it out of the top 10.

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    • Anonymous

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      Anyone who has looked at the last five years of highly drafted Alabama back 7 defensive players and think CJ Mosley is "safe" must be smoking crack.

      Good point.

      Some people must be high to think that Mosley isn't a safe pick for this style of defense that requires its LBs to be able to play all 3 positions.

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    • Anonymous

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      Aaron Donald is probably the safest pick of the draft. He is going to be disruptive and he has good character, strong work ethic, and no injury record.Greg Robinson would be the 2nd safest imo because if by some chance he didn't work out at OT, he would almost certainly be an All Pro OG. Same goes for Zach Martin.Kyle Fuller has gotta be there for me because the tape just shows it and the stats back it up. The kid looks like Jonathan Joseph on film and has great character, leadership, and work ethic.Anyone who knows the truth about Jarvis Landry knows he is a safe pick. Especially if he goes in the 2nd or 3rd round. That guy is everything you want in an NFL player.

      I like Donald, but where do you see him going?  To the Bucs at #7?

      No idea. He would literally be a great pick by any of the top 16 teams and could end up going to any of them. I'll be very surprised if he makes it out of the top 10.

      I see him going in the teens. Maybe late 1st.  Seattle seems to think they have a chance of landing  him @32.

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    • Anonymous

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      Is the draft here yet. :(

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    • Anonymous

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      Anyone who has looked at the last five years of highly drafted Alabama back 7 defensive players and think CJ Mosley is "safe" must be smoking crack.

      Good point.

      Some people must be high to think that Mosley isn't a safe pick for this style of defense that requires its LBs to be able to play all 3 positions.

      Not high. I think Mosley is a pretty good player, but my "good point" was addressed to his comment about Alabama back 7 players. I think it's pretty safe to say that the play hasn't lived up the hype for the majority of them; virtually all of them were called safe picks.I also feel like Alabama players in general come into the league with a lot of wear and tear on their bodies. Saban works these guys pretty hard; I can't remember the player, but he was an ex-Bama guy - he noted that guys don't get days off down there.

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    • Anonymous

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      From my POV, the “Safest” picks at each position group:DT - Aaron DonaldOT - MatthewsCB - Justin GilbertLB - Ryan ShazierQB - BridgeWR - EvansTE - EbronOG - Su'a-Filo3-4 OLB - ......BarrDE - Dee FordRB - Bishop Sankey

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    • Anonymous

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      From my POV, the "Safest" picks at each position group:DT - Aaron DonaldOT - MatthewsCB - Justin GilbertLB - Ryan ShazierQB - BridgeWR - EvansTE - EbronOG - Su'a-Filo3-4 OLB - ......BarrDE - Dee FordRB - Bishop Sankey

      The only one I would question is Bridge.  For me, it boils down to all the QB's are high risk, no matter the pedigree. So in this draft, all those other players you listed that are non QB's are the safest. And a team is going high risk drafting ANY QB.  But you know the old sayin, no guts, no glory.

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