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2014 NFL Draft: Ranking The 5 Safest Prospects

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2014 NFL Draft: Ranking the Top 5 Safest Prospects

Luke Joeckel
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In the NFL Draft, we often split prospects into two groups, safe and risky. The risky prospects are just that, risky. These players, if everything goes well, can end up having huge rewards. With that said, players are labeled “risky” for a reason, for it is just as likely a prospect will be a giant bust rather than a star.

On the other hand, the safe players are pretty much the opposite of the risky players. Safe players are the guys teams can draft without even a second thought about whether or not they can produce at the next level. These are the players like Luke Joeckel who are considered to be sure producers, but lack the top-notch potential of someone like Eric Fisher. In the 2013 Draft, it was because of the fact Fisher had more long-term potential than Joeckel that Fisher went first, not because Fisher was any safer of a prospect than Joeckel.

With that said, players labeled “safe” are still highly coveted in today’s NFL. In a league in which there is so much unpredictability, it’s always nice to bring in a guy that is a sure bet to be a solid player in the league. And while no player is going to be 100 percent safe coming out of the college ranks, teams at least know that one player comes with significantly less risk than another.

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, a ranking of the top five safest prospects available in the 2014 NFL Draft.

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5. Ryan Shazier

Ryan Shazier
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Ryan Shazier is not a guy known for being glamorous when he plays. But Shazier has some of the best instincts in the draft class, and is a proven producer. Shazier is very polished and he has day one starter written all over him.

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4. C.J. Mosley

C.J. Mosley
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C.J. Mosley doesn't play a particularly glamorous position, or does he have the kind of elite talent some other prospects in this draft do. But what Mosley does have is experience, smarts, and instincts; and as a result, he is one of the safest prospects in the entire draft.

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3. Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater
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As far as quarterbacks go, Teddy Bridgewater is the safest to enter the draft since Andrew Luck. He lacks top-notch arm strength, and he may never be elite, but what he lacks in arm strength, Bridgewater makes up for in accuracy, leadership, and smart, and he can step in right away and produce.

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2. Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney
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Yes, Jadeveon Clowney possess a work ethic that can only be described as questionable. With that said, Clowney has been the most hyped-up prospect over the last year for a reason. A once-in-a-generation talent, it’s virtually guaranteed that Clowney is going to change the face of a defense from day one, and he's one of the safest prospects in this draft.

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1. Jake Matthews

Jake Matthews
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Jake Matthews is the safest player in the entire draft class. Much like Joeckel a year ago, Matthews is absolutely outstanding with his technique, and while his natural ability isn’t elite, he will be a team’s starter for the next ten years. Matthews is going to make a team very happy starting from day one.